About The Awards
Established in 2007, the NRL Community Awards have become the most significant opportunity for our game's unsung heroes such as volunteer coaches, community administrators, referees, teachers and grassroots clubs to receive the recognition and thanks that they deserve for the tireless work they do in the community.
The Awards also provide an opportunity for us to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution that the NRL, clubs, and players make year on year to their communities.
Nominations are received from our State Leagues, NRL Clubs, and NRL Game Development staff. Over the years, the Awards have evolved with the number and types varying each year.
This year, we have brought the Awards back to the communities who deserve them most, visiting each winner and presenting their award in person surrounded by those who know and appreciate their efforts.
Check out this year's winners below.
Ken Stephen Medal
Volunteer of the Year
The Volunteer of the Year award is presented to a volunteer who has provided an exceptional service to the game and made a measurable difference in their community. The winner will have demonstrated the NRL's beliefs of inclusivity, positivity, unitedness and discipline.
This year's winners are Max and Lorna Dawes from Coffs Harbour Comets Rugby League Club. From President to Secretary, Ground Announcer to Canteen Coordinator, Max and Lorna have made a difference in every corner of the Comets.
This year's award is proudly supported by Coca Cola Amatil.
Grassroots Club of the Year
The Grassroots Club of the Year award is presented to a rugby league club that has fostered participation and enjoyment at all levels. The club will have become an integral part of their local community and will have shown innovation in its administration.
This year's winner is Blackall Magpies Senior Rugby League Club in Central-West Queensland. Fresh from winning their first premiership in 30 years, the Magpies have capped off an incredible year – a just reward for their incredible community work.
This year's award is proudly supported by Apprenticeship Support Australia.
Teacher of the Year
The Teacher of the Year will have demonstrated exceptional support of rugby league through the provision of opportunities for students to be involved in practical activities within their school or district, as well as by engaging students through the integration of NRL's educational programs in the classroom.
This year's winner is Brendan Davis from Galilee Catholic Primary School in North Bondi. A wonderful advocate for the game and a fantastic role model for sportsmanship and safe play, Brendan goes above and beyond to inspire his students.
This year's award is proudly supported by Accor Hotels.
Women In League Achievement Award
The Women In League Achievement Award is presented to someone who has acted as an exceptional advocate for the advancement and opportunity of women in rugby league. The winner's unique contributions will have raised awareness of women's involvement in rugby league, and will have played an active role in encouraging more girls and women to participate in the game.
This year's winner is Jessica Skinner from Trangie. This year alone, Jess has traveled close to 12,000kms through remote and rural communities to provide opportunities for women to be involved in our game.
This year's award is proudly supported by Harvey Norman.
NRL Club Community Program of the Year
The NRL Club Community Program of the Year Award recognises, celebrates and rewards excellent and innovative community programs which significantly improve outcomes for their community and fosters a culture of learning, supporting and sharing of excellent practice.
This year's winner is the Wests Tigers 'Varying Abilities Program'. The Tigers' program encourages students to celebrate difference, it embodies one of our game's most crucial beliefs – inclusivity.
This year's award is proudly supported by the NSW Government.