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Rugby League Ambassadors David Peachey, Ronny Gibbs and Alan Tongue will this week kickstart the search to select 30 Indigenous youth from five regional NSW towns to take part in a special job experience and mentoring program during the 2012 Harvey Norman State of Origin Series.

The trio will travel to high schools in the NSW Indigenous communities of Coonamble, Grafton, Narromine, Toormina and Wellington as part of the Australian Government’s 2012 NRL Learn Earn Legend! State of Origin Job Experience Program, which offers educational, cultural and aspirational opportunities to Indigenous youth.

Thirty Indigenous youth and five school-leavers (chaperones) will be selected to travel to Sydney for a five-day camp in June to participate in job experience, aspirational, mentoring and cultural activities during the 2012 Harvey Norman State of Origin Series.

Those selected will participate in job experience placements with the sponsors and partners of the Harvey Norman State of Origin Series, ranging from hospitality to broadcasting, event management, transport and sports administration, as well as undertaking nationally accredited leadership and mentoring activities.

Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said: “This is real opportunity for kids to experience something special for themselves and to help broaden the horizons of others in their region.

“We know through the All Stars Indigenous Youth Summits and through Rugby League’s incredible success rate with school to work programs such as Learn Earn Legend! that these opportunities do make a difference.

“Indigenous communities have given Rugby League some of its greatest athletes and the game is committed to growing real opportunities for these communities.”

The program co-funded by the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the ARL Commission, was run for the first time last year and the participants have now been identified as the next group of Indigenous leaders within their respective communities.

There have been many positives stories with one participant now planning to study law after completing her Job Experience at Kennedy Lawyers; the offer of a scholarship by InterContinental Hotels to support a participant with year 11 and 12 studies prior to a chef apprenticeship; another participant who gained a full-time Horticulture Traineeship on return to their community; and another who has returned to Sydney full-time to take up a Youth Worker Traineeship with The Salvation Army.

Learn Earn Legend! State of Origin Job Experience Program (SOOJEP) Schedule

Tues, 20 March


Wellington High School

David Peachey



Narromine High School

Ronny Gibbs

Wed, 21 March


Coonamble High School

Trent Barrett

Thurs, 22 March


Toormina High School

Alan Tongue

Fri, 23 March


Grafton High School

Alan Tongue

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.

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