Voting is now open for fans to have their say on which NRL star should be awarded the prestigious 2013 Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra, at the annual One Community Awards next month.
Among the 15 finalists for the award won last year by Cowboys hero Johnathan Thurston, are Club Captains Michael Ennis, Terry Campese, Ben Creagh, Tim Mannah, Kurt Gidley and Nate Myles.
Fans are being urged to log on to www.NRL.com/kenstephenmedal to vote for the player who has not only achieved on the field, but who has also had a positive impact on the wider community.
Established in 1988, the Medal is named after the late Ken Stephen, who dedicated more than 28 years to Rugby League as a player, community advocate and administrator with this year’s winner to receive $5,000 and a further $5,000 to be donated to the winner’s favourite charity, courtesy of Telstra.
The announcement will be made on Monday, 30 September, at Sydney’s Town Hall at the annual One Community Awards, which kick-offs the 2013 Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week of celebrations.
The awards night is an inspiring evening of celebration for the contributions made by Rugby League’s unsung heroes including volunteers, grassroots clubs, teachers, students, and NRL players.
The finalists for the 2013 Ken Stephen Medal are:
Prince is a passionate supporter of numerous initiatives that focus on “closing the gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians including the Learn Earn Legend! and ARTIE (Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education) programs.
Michael Ennis (Captain)
Ennis supports multiple initiatives that aim to better the lives of children and families living with long term incurable diseases including Camp Quality and Save our Sons.
Terry Campese (Captain)
Campese has raised almost $100,000 for local causes through The Terry Campese Foundation, which he set up with the aim of making a difference in a practical way to people of all ages with a range of needs via charities in Canberra, Queanbeyan and Southern New South Wales.
Tate supports various initiatives targeted at increasing awareness and funds for youth health and wellbeing including Cure Starts Now and Donate For Your State.
Ben Creagh (Captain)
In 2011, Ben co-founded the Athlete Education Foundation and Graduates of League program at the University of Wollongong after firsthand knowledge of experiencing the difficulties in juggling a university course with the rigors of NRL training.
Tim Mannah (Co-captain)
Mannah dedicates his time to various community initiatives including the String Movement, Stella Fella, Ronald McDonald House and the Cancer Council.
Kurt Gidley (Captain)
This year Gidley officially launched the Captains’ Foundation, a program that aims to support disadvantaged community members in Newcastle through volunteer assistance or a personal visit.
Galuvao’s great passion is music and he's heavily involved with the Mindfield Project, a collaborative project between young musicians from the South West Sydney region and NRL first grade players.
Newton is a mentor to younger players in the Panthers squad and a dedicated Ambassador for the White Ribbon Foundation, preventing violence against women.
Waerea-Hargreaves works with and raises money for deaf children as an Ambassador for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children and wants to initiate and action a charity that directly supports this cause.
Ross is passionate about helping young people who are mentally and physically disabled as an Ambassador for the R U OK? Foundation and is currently organising a charity golf day to raise $40,000 for a long-time Sharks fan with a severe and rare case of cerebral palsy.
Slater is an Ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia and supports the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and Cairns Base Hospital.
Nate Myles (Co-captain)
Myles is heavily involved in various RSCPA campaigns and works closely with FOGS and Cherish Women's Cancer Foundation to promote and help run the Battle Against Ovarian Cancer Beach Volley event.
Rapira dedicates his time to the health and wellbeing of children in New Zealand as an Ambassador for New Zealand’s Breakfast Warriors initiative.
Tuqiri is a loyal supporter of Guide Dogs NSW and ACT’s initiatives such as Kicking Goals for Guide Dogs and Vision Loss and is a Blue September Ambassador.
The One Community Awards has a prize pool of over $50,000 across eight award categories including the Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra, Holden National Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Awards (Professional and Volunteer), Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year, AAMI Service to Refereeing, AAMI Service to the Community Award, National Teacher of the Year (Primary and Secondary School) and the Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award.
Follow the NRL One Community Twitter feed @rlonecommunity and the official NRL Twitter feed @NRL, and ‘like’ the NRL One Community Facebook page to keep up to date with all of the latest information.