Super Rugby


Future Indigenous Leaders Program builds from strength to strength

Queensland Rugby’s Future Indigenous Leaders Program will once again feature in the communities of Cherbourg and Woorabinda this week, as the selected students continue to benefit from the mentoring and support offered by the program.

Future Indigenous Leaders was officially launched on May 31 prior to the St.George Queensland Reds Indigenous Round match against the Melbourne Rebels.

Established and supported by Queensland Rugby and Rio Tinto, the program is being piloted in the Cherbourg and Woorabinda communities and is designed to work in partnership with local school and community organisations in regional, remote, and urban areas.

Future Indigenous Leaders encourages and supports students who have demonstrated consistency in attendance, improvement in learning and leadership qualities inside and outside of the classroom.

Initially offered to students in year’s six and seven, the program will continue to support the participants as they transition through to year ten.

Ten students selected by each school have been undertaking the program and have subsequently gained access to continued mentoring and learning resources. This support aims to assist the participants to improve academic performance as well as develop as leaders within their community.

The mentoring component is delivered by Queensland Rugby’s Indigenous Education and Employment Coordinator and includes 12 visits to the participating schools each year.

Queensland Rugby staff will engage with participants in both a group and one on one setting, assisting the children to reach their academic and personal goals, aiding their personal development.

The 20 inaugural participants were given the exclusive opportunity to take part in the Queensland Reds Indigenous Round as part of the programs leadership camp. The camp saw the students spend five days in Brisbane and engage in a number of activities including Indigenous painting and dance, training exercises at Enoggera Army base and trips to the Queensland Museum and Dreamworld.

The highlight of the leadership camp for the participants was their unique opportunity to engage with the Reds players and individually present them with their specially designed Indigenous Round jerseys.

In concluding their camp experience, the Future Leaders Group tunnelled the players onto the field for their Saturday night fixture against the Rebels before playing Rookies2Reds games on the Suncorp Stadium pitch at halftime.

Woorabinda’s Shaelyne McInally and Cherbourg’s Jakeem Murray were individually rewarded for their exceptional leadership during the camp, with Shaelyne leading the team out onto the field and Jakeem performing the Captain’s coin toss prior to the game.

Queensland Rugby Head of Game Development Rob Donaghue is proud of how well the Future Indigenous Leaders program has been received in the communities and is looking forward to its continued development.

“The Future Indigenous Leaders program which has been running in the Cherbourg and Woorabinda communities has been a success so far with the participants receiving access to mentoring and learning resources thanks to the efforts of our Indigenous program staff,” said Donaghue.

“It was also a rewarding experience for all involved to provide the participants with the chance to travel to Brisbane and take part in a major sporting event.

“The program only has room to grow and as we engage with more communities around Queensland I’m confident that with the continued support of Rio Tinto, the Future Indigenous Leaders program will continue to grow and become a sustainable element of our overarching Indigenous program.”

The introduction of the Future Indigenous Leaders program allows Queensland Rugby to complete their Indigenous program structure, providing support for Indigenous students throughout their teenage years to help ensure their progression through to employment or further tertiary education.

This in turn provides participants with opportunities that will allow them to continually develop academically and personally, while providing further support to the Indigenous communities in which Queensland Rugby already works.

Further Information:

Chloe Pillar – Queensland Rugby Indigenous Education and Employment Coordinator will be visiting:

  • Cherbourg State School on Tuesday 6th August and

  • Woorabinda State School on Thursday 8th August.

For further information on the Queensland Reds Indigenous Program, please contact QRU Community Engagement Manager – Joel Johnston – or 0488 000 242.

Rugby Traveller