More than 30 NRL School to Work and Souths Cares Nanga Mai Marri program graduates joined former NRL stars including Cliff Lyons, Preston Campbell and Greg Inglis plus corporate partners in a friendly touch football game to vie for the Bennelong Cup.
A luncheon was also held after the game.
Fourteen touch football teams (168 players) participated and over 280 people attended the luncheon, held at Souths Juniors to celebrate 2019 student achievements from the programs and introduce future employers.
Several new apprenticeships and traineeships were offered and awarded to 2019 program graduates by BGIS, Hutchinson Builders, Bennelong Energy Services (BES) and Evolve FM. Past students shared their personal stories about how they have benefited from the programs and special guest Des Hasler gave the audience a few pearls of wisdom about his time working with Indigenous footballers.
The NRL School to Work team and Souths Cares in collaboration with BES, hosted the events. Event organiser and director at Bennelong Energy Services, Gaven Sheehan says, “The events were a resounding success. This is the third time we have run these events, which continues to expand as a direct result of support from corporate sponsors and the NRL School to Work and South Cares teams.
“Sport is a great way to build camaraderie and relationships in a social context. Facilities and project management companies have embraced the opportunity to find employment opportunities for Indigenous students. Several plumbing, electrical and project management roles have been offered. BES also recently employed our fourth Indigenous apprentice and will continue to be an advocate for supporting Indigenous families and their children find rewarding jobs.”
“BGIS has a strong and rewarding relationship with the NRL School to Work program, and we’re thrilled to sponsor the Bennelong Cup for a second consecutive year,” says Brad Robbins, BGIS’ managing director – Operations, Defence and FMO.
“The event provides a fantastic forum to build relationships with the talented young Indigenous men and women in the program, and give back to the communities in which we operate.
“Through Bennelong Cup initiatives, we’ve been able to provide trade apprenticeships to two students from the NRL School to Work program. Our vision is to create opportunities that lead to positive economic, social and educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, and the Bennelong Cup – in addition to our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan and partnerships with various Indigenous programs, suppliers and not-for-profits – enables us to realise this goal.”
“CBRE is thrilled to participate in this year’s Bennelong Cup – it’s a great opportunity for us to connect with Indigenous students, listen to their stories and engage with the next wave of young property professionals,” says Emma Forster Mitrovski, senior managing director, Global Workplace Solutions, CBRE Pacific.
“CBRE is committed to creating meaningful opportunities and economic empowerment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We believe that a diverse and inclusive culture will lead to stronger business performance and better outcomes for our people and our clients. Through our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan and Indigenous Centre of Excellence, we are actively providing our people with opportunities to improve how we meet Indigenous community needs and helping to build a vibrant, socially responsible business.”
Hutchinson Builders (Hutchies) has committed to assisting 550 Indigenous jobseekers into construction related careers by the end of 2020. To date, it has placed 411 people into employment with over 250 in apprenticeships. Hutchies works closely with the NRL community, NRL School to Work team and NRL State of Mind program, delivering workshops on mental health and the importance of looking after yourself and others to construction school students.
Mark Kucks, national Indigenous manager at Hutchinson Builders says, “Hutchies has supported the Bennelong Cup since its inception, as we have similar ideals in providing opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“The simple gesture of giving someone a job has the ability to change an individual’s life. We are creating role models and changing habits – people are less likely to participate in activities associated with low-socio economic societies when they are busy earning a living and providing for their families.”
Bennelong Energy Services organised the events, co-founded by Cliff Lyons, Gaven Sheehan and Steve Freeman. The events raised approximately $27,000 for two Indigenous charities – Souths Care and Cowboy House and the NRL School to Work program ($9000 each).