Brisbane Broncos forward Tevita Pangai has been nominated for the 2017 Ken Stephen Medal.
A young player setting the standards for his teammates around him, Tevita has a genuine passion for community work. The 21-year-old owes this dedication to his parents, who taught him to be "first and foremost a great person, then he can be a great player".
A popular presence during the Broncos' open training sessions at Red Hill, Tevita is always last in the sheds; spending time meeting the public, posing for photos, and signing autographs.
Tevita is a regular visitor to the Broncos Community Department, searching for ways to get involved and willing to jump in at short notice. Between his incipient NRL career and his studies for a Bachelor of Business Degree, the Tongan forward still finds the time to give back to those less fortunate than himself.
When sidelined with a serious injury earlier in the year, Tevita still found a silver lining. Through a tough rehab he gained perspective, acknowledging that there were those experiencing far tougher times and his enthusiasm to give back to the community only strengthened. This year, Tevita has volunteered for numerous activities whether that be serving cups of tea and bowls of soup through Rosie's, visiting Lismore after the area was devastated by floods, or surprising Indigenous students at Beyond the Broncos workshops, a mentoring program he has earmarked as important to him.
Acutely aware of his responsibility to, and impact on, young people, Tevita seeks to proudly represent Rugby League wherever and whenever possible.
The Ken Stephen Medal
Ken Stephen was an administrator who devoted 28 years to the NSWRL in various capacities. He retired shortly before his death in 1988. The Ken Stephen Medal recognises the efforts of an NRL player, who has not only achieved on the field, but has also committed time off the field to community projects.
A player is nominated by their NRL club for 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.
The NRL Community Awards recognise Rugby League's unsung heroes for the tireless work they do to support the game they love. From volunteers and teachers, to players at a first-grade level, the awards pause to honour, reflect and congratulate those who make a positive difference for many in their communities, week after week.