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Harden eager to keep breaking down community barriers

Changing the misconceptions towards her local community has been a motivating factor for Broncos forward Tallisha Harden after receiving her first nomination for the Veronica White medal.

Harden is one four nominees, joining Titans winger Karina Brown, Eels captain Simaima Taufa and Rooster Jocelyn Kelleher for the prestigious community award, to be announced on NRLW grand final day in Redcliffe on April 10. 

Previous winners include Titans forward and retired Kiwi Fern Honey Hireme-Smiler, who were both acknowledged while at the Warriors.

Harden, who works as a speech pathologist in Brisbane, regularly gets back to her local community of Woodridge, where she was raised.

It was her work in the town and surrounding Logan suburbs that Harden was nominated by her peers for her contributions.

"I’m really stoked, I wasn’t expecting it. You don’t volunteer or commit to things expecting to get recognised, you do it because you love it and want to help," Harden told NRL.com.

"I just love the fact it brings attention to my local community and where I’m from because often I think my area can get labelled as a bit of a dodgy community when it’s not.

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"Myself, Brenko Lee, Josh Papalii… there’s a few of us that come from Woodridge. 

"We are all humble and happy go-lucky. We play the game because we love it and help out because we love it."

While Harden won't feature in Sunday's decider after her Broncos were knocked out of the qualifying for the grand final against the Roosters, the Queensland and Jillaroos forward will be supporting her partner, Dragons forward Shellie Long.

Long relocated to Wollongong in January to chase her NRLW dream and while she's been on the cusp of selection for the Red V, the PNG 

"I’m just happy she’s had a really good experience and learned a lot," Harden said.

"She’s a Dragons girl and I’m a staunch Bronco. It doesn’t matter if she’s player 24 or player 18, her childhood team is the Dragons and dad and late pop were really big Dragons fans. 

"She talks so highly of the club and program. We've bantered a little bit with the Broncos and Dragons [this season] but off the field we do separate it.

"I miss her terribly but it’s good. She’s put in a bit of muscle and will come back fitter and faster."

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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