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From the small town of Woorabinda in Central Queensland, 14-year-old Amber Adams has always dreamed of being in the modeling industry.
That hasn’t changed.
In fact, thanks to the networking opportunities gained and support she has received as part of the St.George Queensland Reds Future Indigenous Leader’s program (FILP), Adams says her dream is clearer than ever.
Growing up in a family with four brothers and six sisters, in a town where everyone knows everyone, Adams said she was excited to have the opportunity to travel to new places.
“The places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met; that would have to be the most rewarding part of my experience in the program so far,” she said.
The Reds FILP, delivered in partnership with Rio Tinto, was developed in 2012 after Queensland Rugby Union identified a “gap in the market” for the support of Indigenous youth outside their Community Development and Reds Generation Next programs.
The program is designed to provide mentoring, guidance and leadership development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged between 11 and 15 years of age. In 2015 the program mentors will deliver over 9,000 hours mentoring through community and school visits and the hosting of two Leadership Camps.
FILP currently has 68 participants attending 16 schools from the three remote communities of Cherbourg, Woorabinda and Yarrabah.
The program aims to increase outcomes in school retention and classroom behavior, while achieving an average of 90% school attendance level.
Adams says the program has given her confidence and belief that she can achieve what she works for.
“Our mentors work with us with not only reading and writing but also goal-setting. They teach us how important it is to come to school and what we can get out of it,” she said.
“I joined the program after my teacher suggested that I apply. The support and opportunities I have had while in the program are great and I am so excited that my brother Abram has also now joined the program.”
Adams is currently undertaking work experience with Queensland Rugby, where she is developing her organisational and communication skills, while also gaining an understanding on how to work in an office environment.
She also had the opportunity to accompany the Reds at a pre-season training session, where she was able to meet and interact with the players.
Next year, Adams will move to boarding school at The Cathedral College in Rockhampton, where she will be able to further her education.
FILP expands annually with up to 15 Year six students selected from the three participating communities.
Students are required to nominate themselves and respond to questions around why they want to be part of the program, what is leadership and why education is important.
Students are then interviewed and assessed against the following three criteria; leadership potential, academic potential and achievement despite adversity.
21 JULY 2017