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The Ken Stephen Medal recognises the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on the field, but has committed time off the field to community projects. A player is nominated by their NRL club for going above and beyond in their involvement in charity work, youth development or community support.

The nominated player will have consistently demonstrated their commitment to making a difference in their community and be seen as a role model in this area at their NRL club. This year will be the 33rd instance that the Ken Stephen Medal will be awarded, with a host of worthy recipients receiving this prestigious award since Wayne Pearce won the inaugural medal in 1988, including Ryan James, Joel Thompson, Jonathan Thurston and Nathan Hindmarsh.


Fans will get the chance to vote for their favourite Ken Stephen Medal nominee, between Tuesday 23 - Tuesday 30 August.

The winner of the fan vote will win $3,500 to give back to their Junior Rugby League Club and becomes an automatic finalist in the Top 4.

The 2021 Ken Stephen Medal Winner, proudly brought to you by Your Local Club is Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Ronaldo Mulitalo! 

Mulitalo presented with Ken Stephen Medal

Ronaldo arrived at the Sharks passionate to play Rugby League and equally passionate to give back to the community. Ronaldo has been an exemplary community volunteer, always involved in every community-based initiative, leading the club community appearance hours two years in succession.

For Ronaldo, playing in the NRL allows him to not only play the game he loves but positively impact people at community and International level. Ronaldo’s recent focus was to build a community hall and install a rain water collection system in Papua New Guinea. 

Ronaldo delivered NRL’s Voice Against Violence and League Bilong Laif in schools during his time in Papua New Guinea and focused has on supporting children with disability by participating in Sharks All Abilities School Program and the Skillz4me program in the Shire.

Ronaldo shows that one person can make a difference, even at club level. Ronaldo has significantly impacted the Sharks community offering groceries, supplies and support to staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has worked tirelessly to support teammate Fine Kula throughout his brain cancer battle, dedicating his season to him and initiating the #FightforFine campaign.

Ronaldo’s own childhood circumstances drove his interest to become an ambassador for Stepping Stone House charity, focusing on providing youth with a safe home and educational and employment opportunities.

Ronaldo has a unique passion for the community, he treats every event like it truly matters and treats people as equals. He strives to make community events memorable for all.

2021 Ken Stephen Medal Nominees

Take a look at our 2021 Ken Stephen Medal Finalists and read about their community work here

Connor Watson 2020 Winner

The 2020 Ken Stephen Medallist is Newcastle Knights' Connor Watson - a champion on and off the field! Sparked by losing his 17-year-old cousin Parker to suicide, Watson, his parents Mark and Jodie and their Cultural Choice Association (CCA) have worked to make Boots for Brighter Futures a hallmark of Indigenous Round and a catalyst for important conversations in the Indigenous and broader community.

Learn more

Sia Soliola - 2019 Ken Stephen Medallist

Our 2019 Ken Stephen Medallist was Canberra Raiders' Sia Soliola - a champion on and off the field! Sia is the consummate club professional in his understanding and dedication to promoting both the game of rugby league and the Canberra Raiders. He understands his role both as a club leader where he is often referred to in the media as the “spiritual leader” and someone who brings the internal values of the Raiders to life.

Learn More
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.