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Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr.

Josh Addo-Carr left Sydney for Melbourne three years ago with little more than some clothes and a favourite pair of shoes.

"I pretty much moved down here with nothing," Addo-Carr, who had played nine NRL games for Wests Tigers before joining the Storm, told

Now a premiership winner and a NSW Origin representative, the flying winger considers the decision to head south "the best thing I've ever done".

But he remembers the tough challenges during the transition to a new state away from his family and is using that tale, as well as lessons learned from hardships in his formative years, to inspire kids in the community.

His off-field work has netted him a deserved nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal.

"I didn't think I'd be a part of the Ken Stephen Medal. I just like helping people and putting a smile on their faces," Addo Carr said. "I love doing it."

A proud Aboriginal man, Addo-Carr has been heavily involved with the NRL's School to Work program - delivered to 14 schools across Victoria - which helps Indigenous Australians stay in the education system and prepare for employment.

"I just want to show people the right direction to go and tell them a bit about my story," said Addo-Carr.

"I go out to schools and give them a little talk about where I've come from, what I've gone through and things I've overcome through my life.

Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr gets involved with Active April.
Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr gets involved with Active April. ©

"I just tell them get out of your comfort zone and you never know what can happen. A good example of that is moving down to Melbourne."

Addo-Carr's journey to NRL stardom isn't your typical rise. He was caught up in trouble with the police as a teenager and almost didn't deliver on his undoubted potential.

But after finding the straight and narrow, Addo-Carr wants to assist others to walk the same path towards opportunity. 

As part of that mission he plans to go further into mentoring and leadership having completed a Certificate IV in Educational Support – a major personal achievement.

"I want to try to set something up in the next couple of years," he said.

"I finished that certificate - I dropped out of school in year nine so it's pretty good for myself. I was never good at school when I was a kid.

"I dropped out of school to work with my dad and focused a bit more on footy.

"I just started studying a Business Diploma – it's pretty cool."

Closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is a massive motivator in Addo-Carr's endeavours.

The prodigious try-scorer volunteers to contribute on the Storm's Reconciliation Action Plan committee and, while in camp with the Indigenous All Stars in February, shared his story at the All Stars Youth Summit.

Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr.
Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr. ©

He was also recently appointed to the NRL's Indigenous Players Advisory Group.

"Everyone's equal and everyone's the same and it's recognising that," Addo-Carr said.

"It's a great thing to be a part of it. I'm still learning about [the Reconciliation Action Plan] but I'm excited for it."

When he had his brushes with the law as a kid back in Sydney's Redfern area, Addo-Carr never imagined becoming the community leader he is now.

It's a position the 24-year-old is still getting used to but one he enjoys.

"I've always been told to be myself and I guess it's led to me being a leader," Addo-Carr said.

Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr gets involved with Adopt-A-Tiger.
Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr gets involved with Adopt-A-Tiger. ©

"I get along with everyone … It's certainly very special and something I'm very proud of."

On top of everything else, "The Foxx" in May committed to an ongoing monthly donation to Zoos Victoria’s Sumatran Tiger Adoption Program.

As for the Ken Stephen Medal, Addo-Carr is simply happy to have been acknowledged alongside 14 other worthy players.

"It's a pretty special group – I'll be proud [regardless] of whoever does get the Medal," he said.

"Full credit to all the boys doing something special in the community and giving back."

The 2019 Ken Stephen Medal is proudly supported by wealth, property and well-being consultancy, One Solutions.

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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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