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Queensland Rugby has today joined Rio Tinto in launching the Queensland Reds Future Indigenous Leaders Program designed to create meaningful career pathways and leadership opportunities for young Indigenous students throughout the state.
The Future Indigenous Leaders Program was officially launched on the eve of the Reds second annual Indigenous Round fixture and saw the program’s inaugural 20 participants present special edition Indigenous art print jerseys to the players.
The program is a new initiative which has been developed to provide the necessary mentoring support and incentives to ensure Indigenous students from Cherbourg and Woorabinda regions are reaching their potential and becoming leaders within their communities.
Offered to students in year’s six to 10, the early stages of the program focus on developing literacy and numeracy skills before the focus shifts gradually away from the curriculum and towards developing the students’ leadership abilities.
Queensland Rugby and Rio Tinto continue to work in partnership with local schools and youth organisations to encourage, support and reward students involved in the program who are demonstrating consistency in attendance, improvement in learning, and excellence in performance both inside and outside of the classroom.
Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael welcomed the partnership with Rio Tinto and the launch of the Future Indigenous Leaders Program.
"To partner with a global mining sector leader such as Rio Tinto is extremely significant to driving positive outcomes for our code and will create huge benefits for our participants, communities and partners associated with the Queensland Reds Indigenous Program," Mr Carmichael said.
“To continue the growth of Rugby in Queensland it’s critical that we are surrounding ourselves with like-minded partners committed to investing in our game, so it’s with great pleasure that I welcome Rio Tinto into the Queensland Rugby family."
Alison Smith, of Rio Tinto in Brisbane, said: “Rio Tinto is proud to partner with Queensland Rugby Union in the “Future Indigenous Leaders Program” which supports and encourages teenagers in Cherbourg and Woorabinda to stay in school, seek employment and/or further training, and to become a leader in their community.
“We want to help talented Aboriginal students not only stay at school, but do the best they can.
“Saturday’s Indigenous Game will shine a spotlight on the achievements of these students, as well as celebrate the launch of this new program in 2013 between the QRU and Rio Tinto.”
Queensland Reds captain and Future Indigenous Leaders Program Ambassador James Horwill endorsed the support being offered to young Indigenous Queenslanders as part of the program.
“It’s important to never underestimate the impact strong leadership can have on others, whether that is on the Rugby field or in your everyday commitments in life,” Horwill said.
“But, like any other skill, leadership is something you need to work hard at developing and its therefore extremely pleasing to see the creation of a program that will provide participants with the necessary knowledge and tools to become leaders within their communities.”
The program will offer participants further avenues for future employment, education and training, including potential Rio Tinto university scholarships or future roles in that organisation.
28 MARCH 2017