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NRL Mailbox: Learn, Earn, Legend!

NRL Wed, May 23, 2012 - 12:00 PM

From physiotherapy to forensic science, law to photography, automotive and midwifery, 35 Indigenous youth and school-leavers with wide-ranging career aspirations have been chosen to take part in a special job experience and aspirational program during the 2012 Harvey Norman State of Origin Series.

The successful students, from high schools in the NSW Indigenous communities of Coonamble, Grafton, Narromine, Toormina and Wellington will be part of the Australian Government’s 2012 NRL Learn Earn Legend! State of Origin Job Experience Program (SOOJEP) - a program that aims is to inspire young Indigenous Australians to embrace the educational and employment opportunities that are available, whilst strongly maintaining their identity and culture.

SOOJEP will see 30 Indigenous youth and five Indigenous school-leavers (‘chaperones’) travel to Sydney for a five-day camp next month to participate in job experience, aspirational, leadership, mentoring and cultural activities leading up to Game 2 of the 2012 Harvey Norman State of Origin Series.

Those selected will participate in job experience placements with the sponsors and partners of the Harvey Norman State of Origin Series, as well as undertaking nationally accredited leadership and mentoring activities.

Participants will also have the rare opportunity of having dinner with the NSW Blues Origin Team and attending a State of Origin game.

The program co-funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the ARL Commission, was run for the first time last year and the participants have been identified as the next group of Indigenous leaders within their respective communities.

Many positive stories have come out of the inaugural program, including a participant now planning to study law after completing her Job Experience at Kennedy Lawyers; the offer of a scholarship by InterContinental Hotels to support Year 11 and 12 studies prior to a chef apprenticeship; a full-time Horticulture Traineeship on return to their community; and a full-time Youth Worker Traineeship with The Salvation Army in Sydney.