Broncos, Titans launch Indigenous programs

As three of the game’s most influential Indigenous players put their handprints to the new Indigenous All Stars jersey, the Titans and the Broncos each joined the Federal Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Senator Mark Arbib, today to launch education and employment programs that will deliver ongoing benefits of the All Stars to young, Indigenous students.

Titans Beyond Tomorrow and the Brisbane Broncos Employment and Mentoring Program highlight the ongoing legacy of the All Stars concept, which in 2010 saw $1.5 million raised for community programs with a particular focus on Indigenous issues.

At the unveiling of the 2011 Indigenous All Stars jersey today, Senator Arbib joined ARL Indigenous Council Chairman, William ‘Smiley’ Johnstone, and Indigenous All Stars jersey designer, Sid Domic, along with past and present Indigenous players Lionel Morgan, Preston Campbell and Scott Prince as details of the Titans Beyond Tomorrow program were also announced.

For the second year, the 2011 Indigenous All Stars jersey will again carry the Federal government’s Learn Earn Legend! message that encourages young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to stay in school and further their training to allow them to achieve their career goals.

The success of the Learn Earn Legend! partnership continues to echo through the game and is evident through the development of such programs as those from the Titans and the Broncos.

“The best thing that kids can do is get a good education. We know that the better your education - whether it be finishing Year 12, completing a TAFE qualification, getting an apprenticeship or going on to university - the more likely you are to get a good job,” Senator Arbib said.

From Auckland, NRL Chief Executive, David Gallop said today: “The Federal Government’s support of the All Stars along with the $1.5million in funding generated by the inaugural All Stars match has led to the development of some inspiring community programs across the NRL Clubs.

“The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars is a game that has certainly captured the hearts of Rugby League fans and we hope to continue the positive difference it makes among the community for many years to come.”

The Titans Beyond Tomorrow program was developed in partnership with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Education Queensland and the Queensland State Government, along with funding that was generated by the 2010 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars.

The program will target 150 Indigenous youth from South East Queensland and aims to grow the employment prospects of high school students through further education and training opportunities.

It will involve Titans players taking on a mentoring role with high school students from the final months of their schooling through until six months into their chosen career path or training.

The initial group of players that have already committed to the program and will soon commence mentoring training, includes Preston Campbell, Scott Prince, Mat Rogers, Clinton Toopi, Shannon Walker and Will Zillman, with all Titans players taking on a more active role as the course continues.

“The Titans Beyond Tomorrow program is something I’m very passionate about,” Learn Earn Legend! ambassador, Scott Prince, said today.

“I know there are many temptations for teenagers to lose focus on what they want to achieve in life and I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for Rugby League.

“Titans Beyond Tomorrow aims to help participants unlock their passions so they can move beyond school into careers that are meaningful to them.”

Senator Arbib also travelled to the Broncos today for the launch of the Broncos Employment and Mentoring Program – an initiative that has been developed with support from the Federal Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The Broncos Employment and Mentoring Program will target around 60 young Indigenous Australians living in the Ipswich area and who are in their final year of school, with the aim of improving their retention and achievement levels.

The two-year program will include role models buddying with students to assist with motivation, self esteem and goal setting during Year 12.

Previous players, including Mick DeVere and Michael Hancock and current Indigenous Broncos players will act as role models, speaking to the students about their personal experiences and supporting participants in the transition from school to either further education, employment or training.