Release type: Media Release


Government partners Indigenous All Stars


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

The Rudd Government is teaming up with the National Rugby League in a new partnership to encourage Indigenous children to stay in school and aspire to good jobs.

Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib, today announced the $825,000 three-year partnership, which will begin with the upcoming Rugby League All Stars Match.

The NRL Indigenous All Stars will promote the message Learn. Earn. Legend! at the inaugural Rugby League All Stars Match at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on February 13.

“The Government’s goal, through the NRL Indigenous All Stars Team, is to encourage young Indigenous Australians to have a go, stay at school and ensure a pathway to employment,” Senator Arbib said.

“The best thing all kids can do is get a good education. We know that the more education you have, whether that be finishing year 12, completing a TAFE qualification, an apprenticeship or a tertiary qualification, the more likely you are to get a good job.

“Almost 60 per cent of Indigenous Australians live in NSW or Queensland – the heartland of rugby league. This is a great way for the Government to partner with the sporting heroes of young Indigenous children to send out an important positive message.

“This is an ongoing partnership which builds on the work being done by the Former Origin Greats (FOGS) with their careers expos and will include a FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Market at Skilled Park before the All Stars game.”

NRL CEO David Gallop said the NRL had committed all money raised from the All Stars Match to community projects, with an emphasis on Indigenous communities.

“The Indigenous All Stars team has been handpicked by rugby league fans who have for the first time brought together stars like Preston Campbell, Jonathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Scott Prince, Wendell Sailor and Nathan Merritt in the one team,” Mr Gallop said.

“The players provide a powerful voice for their community and can play a strong role in helping the Australian Government directly engage with young, Indigenous Australians.

“The players are committed to making a difference and this is an important partnership for all concerned.”

The game will be played between the NRL Indigenous All Stars and the NRL All Stars and coincide with the second anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

Senator Arbib said the Government funding was provided from the Indigenous Employment Program.

The Australian Government has committed $764 million over five years to the Indigenous Employment Program to strengthen Indigenous employment and business opportunities.

The NRL partnership will also include:

  • One of the Indigenous All Stars becoming an ongoing ambassador to promote education and employment opportunities for the next three years;
  • Publicising the Learn Earn Legend message at NRL All Stars matches through to 2012
  • A careers market at the 2010 All Stars match
  • An Indigenous Youth Summit in 2011 and 2012
  • Access to the NRL “One Community” resources that concentrate on a healthy lifestyle, to complement the Australian Government’s Indigenous Education and Employment initiatives
  • Developing Indigenous cultural events with an education and employment theme to be held in regional centres across NSW and Qld to coincide with future All Stars games in 2011 and 2012; and
  • A commitment from the NRL to work with the Government to develop further Indigenous employment and education initiatives.

“The NRL partnership is another example of the Australian Government working in innovative ways to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in education and economic participation,” Senator Arbib said.