Queensland Rugby Union Indigenous Program
The QRU Indigenous programs started in 2010 as a means to provide education, employment and training opportunities to young Indigenous rugby players from Queensland who were also participating in Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development programs. The gap identified in earlier stages was the nexus between playing the game and how the game could support and grow proud young people, utilising the strength of the Queensland Reds brand and rugby networks to achieve this. A large majority of participants have been young females seeking out opportunities to engage with positive role models to support their own development.
Consequently, the Queensland Rugby Union Indigenous Program isn’t about playing rugby, but designed to identify, support and grow our future Indigenous leaders. It is more than just turning up, but going above and beyond to demonstrate excellence through participation in activities encouraging students to achieve their full learning potential, using positive role models and incentives for ongoing engagement. Fortunately for the students, one of our program ambassadors, Moses Sorovi, who is a current Reds player, is a young Torres Strait Island man who grew up in a remote community and has experienced similar challenges as our program participants, making his interactions much more relatable for all.
The program has now expanded beyond its early stages to consider all aspects of a student’s leadership journey and include early identification and development through our Future Indigenous Leaders Program. This program provides continuing support from primary school through to secondary and beyond into post-school pathways. Testament to the work are the outcomes we have been able to achieve in supporting young Indigenous leaders to complete secondary schooling, gaining scholarships in elite boarding schools, entry into university courses and a range of employment and training outcomes for participants.
Additionally, since 2012 the QRU has hosted the Queensland Reds Indigenous Round game to showcase our ongoing commitment to our partnership with Queensland Indigenous communities and families, with 3 of our jerseys over these years displaying designs from our program’s students. Further demonstration our commitment to growing young leaders and having their artworks displayed on an international stage due to the broadcast range of Super Rugby.
The relationship we have with our participants, their families and communities is strong, and we pride ourselves on developing and maintaining that trusted relationship. This is the cornerstone of our success and will continue well into the future between the QRU and Indigenous Queenslanders.
We are also pleased to have representatives of the NIAA part of our organisations Indigenous Advisory Group (IAG) which ensure that our programs and practice align with best practice policy.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website contains images and vision/voices of people who have passed away.