Queensland Rugby Union recognises Reconciliation Week

Mon, May 29, 2023, 2:00 AM
by Queensland Rugby Media Unit
Queensland Rugby celebrates its annual Indigenous Round at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: QRU Media
Queensland Rugby celebrates its annual Indigenous Round at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: QRU Media

The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) is proud to extend its support for First Nations boys and girls in providing better access to Rugby pathways throughout the state.

For the past 11 years, QRU has led and facilitated two Indigenous Programs which have aimed at addressing Closing the Gap initiatives in First Nations boys and girls – the Future Indigenous Leaders Program (FILP) – designed for students from years six to 10 – and the Reds Generation Next Program (RGN), for year 11 and 12 students.

With funding support from the National Indigenous Australians Agency – an organisation committed to improving to lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – the RGN Program has been able to mentor over 250 students to achieve the equivalent of a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or entry into their chosen vocational pathway.

QRU Indigenous Program Manager Graham Leeson said the current mentoring programs will provide First Nations people better access to Rugby.

“We are very excited by the success of our current mentoring programs and feel the time is right to extend our indigenous mentoring into the rugby participation space,” Leeson said.

“An extension to our current Reds Generation Next program will see our new Indigenous Academy initiative which aims to identify current First Nation Rugby playing participants at school-based championships and 7s events throughout Queensland.

“We are excited to offer them access to our current RGN mentoring program while also providing them with support in preparing for and accessing the rugby pathways available to them as Indigenous Boys and Girls.”

The extension of the program will see students allocated to regional based academies in Southeast Queensland, Central Queensland and North Queensland.

The academies will meet at various times throughout the year across the state where students can meet each other, receive specialist Rugby 7s training and prepare for upcoming pathway events.

Academies will be mentored by current Queensland Reds Super W player Renae Nona and QRU Indigenous Strategy Manager Dylan Blackman.

If selected, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Teams which honours Lloyd McDermott, the second Indigenous player to represent Australia in Rugby.

For more information about QRU’s Indigenous Programs including the Reds Generation Next Program and Future Indigenous Leaders Programs, click here