A group of 60 Indigenous students from across News South Wales and Queensland will get the special opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in Rugby League when they travel to the Gold Coast this month to take part in the second Learn Earn Legend! Indigenous All Stars Youth Summit.
The students have been specially selected to take part in the four-day summit (February 1-4) which coincides with the week-long celebrations of the third annual Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match to be played at Skilled Park on February 4.
The Summit will focus on inspiring the students to embrace educational and employment opportunities while still maintaining their Indigenous identity and culture.
They will meet and interact with players from both the NRL and Indigenous All Stars teams at workshops as well as taking part in sessions with guest presenters including Rugby League legend Preston Campbell, 2004 Ken Stephen medal recipient Dean Widders, recently retired Titan Clinton Toopi, Indigenous educators Ash Dargan and Jeremy Donovan and mind trainer Alistair Horscroft.
The attendees will take part in a number of workshops including a session by Google focusing on work and life balance; resilience and mental health sessions to be held by the Healing Foundation; along with a trip to the Kooga Sportswear factory where the students will help to create a Rugby League Jersey from start to finish.
Participants will arrive on Tuesday (January 31) and will take part in workshops from Wednesday until Saturday before attending the match that night and participating in the pre-game entertainment.
The Learn Earn Legend! Indigenous All Stars Youth Summit was established to provide Indigenous students, aged between 16 and 18 years, the opportunity to improve their career prospects through a series of educational forums, training courses and workshops.
“These interactive workshops enable us to share our own learning experiences from the past with the students, as well as providing them with some assistance to map out their futures and career prospects,” Widders said.
“The students attending this camp have a chance to really take advantage of opportunities presented to them and make the best career choices for themselves.”
“To date the Learn Earn Legend! projects, which are run by the Australian Government in partnership with the NRL, have assisted over 1500 high school students nationally.
“The children who participated in the first Youth Summit last year and the players who were involved all felt they were part of something incredibly special,” said NRL Director Community, Culture and Diversity Trish Crews.
“The format of the Summit allowed players to share their personal experiences with the 120 students and it was very rewarding for both parties.
“It is a really valuable opportunity for the individual students and the communities they represent to have them return with important messages that help shape their future.”
The NRL will host the 2012 Youth Summit in partnership with the Federal Government, through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).