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Rugby League’s One Community and Lifeline Australia have joined forces in the fight to raise awareness about Indigenous health issues and suicide prevention.

One Community and Lifeline Australia have this week begun a six-week charity partnership that will promote Lifeline’s work through community service announcements and grass signage in the Channel 9 One Community match each Sunday afternoon.

In conjunction with the Lifeline partnership, Round 23 of the Telstra Premiership will support Oxfam’s Close The Gap campaign, which calls on governments to commit to closing the 17-year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

In a charity partnership unique in Australian sport, One Community dedicates six rounds of each Telstra Premiership season to raise awareness of the work of one of four designated partners.

The partnership with Lifeline Australia is the fourth and final one for 2009, with the Children’s Hospital Foundations Australia, Youngcare and the National Breast Cancer Foundation also partnering One Community this season.

“Our partnership with four key charities allows us to unite the Rugby League family in helping people in need,” NRL Director, Community Relations, Trish Crews said.

Lifeline Australia Chief Executive, Dawn O’Neil, said the partnership provided an opportunity to broaden the reach for her organisation, which has provided support for people in need for almost 50 years:

“Lifeline values its partnership with Rugby League’s One Community because it gives us the opportunity to promote positive messages about help-seeking to NRL fans and players, and to reach people who might need support.

“Each day seven Australians take their own life. For Indigenous Australians, the rate is up to 40 per cent higher.

“Lifeline and the NRL will be encouraging everyone to make their mark to support Indigenous suicide prevention by participating in our online awareness raising campaign.”

For more information on Lifeline Australia’s work, log on to

One Community has spent the past six weeks supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation, highlighted by its successful Women In League round.

The Women In League round celebrated the role of women in the game and featured players, officials and fans wearing pink jerseys, pink beards and using pink match balls that were auctioned in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and other charities. 

“The success of the Women in League round has seen a marked increase in interest in grassroots fundraising for the NBCF at local footy clubs around the country, showing just how important the One Community program is,” National Breast Cancer Foundation Chief Executive, Sue Murray, said.

Tenders are currently open for charities wishing to be involved with Rugby League and One Community in 2010. For more information see

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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.

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