Future Indigenous Leaders Program
The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) Indigenous Program was established in 2010. With the support of Rio Tinto and the communities of Cherbourg and Woorabinda, the QRU deliver the Future Indigenous Leaders Program (FILP) in these communities.
The FILP aims to identify students in these communities from grade 6 who show potential leadership qualities. From here, students are mentored through to grade 10 to ensure they maintain attendance above 95%, consistently show positive behaviour at school, on social media and in the wider community.
Students engaged with the program are visited by QRU mentors once a fortnight during school terms. They also attend two leadership camps each year where they complete team building, leadership and Indigenous cultural activities.
One-on-one mentoring and leadership camps are vital in building strong, trusting relationships with students, families and communities. Students who have graduated from the FILP have consistently achieved above average school attendance and positive behaviour.
Since the program inception, 310 students from Cherbourg and Woorabinda have been offered the opportunity to participate in the QRU FILP. In total, 72 students have graduated and we are now seeing some of these graduates emerge as leaders in their communities.
Completion of the FILP is now a pre-requisite to enter the QRU Reds Generation Next Program which aims to ensure transition from formal secondary education into the workforce, tertiary education or any other positive aspirational post school avenue.
Additionally, each year the Queensland Rugby Union and Queensland Reds (Men’s) host an Indigenous Round that features a unique Indigenous jersey design. FILP students are encouraged to submit Indigenous artwork for this jersey. In 2020, Shelly Booth’s artwork featured on the jersey for the Super Rugby AU match v the ACT Brumbies, who also wore an Indigenous jersey. This was the first time two Australian teams wore Indigenous jerseys in a Super Rugby match.
The Queensland Rugby Foundation was initially established to support this program and continues to play an instrumental role.
This program could not happen without the support of Rio Tinto and the QRU Foundation. On behalf of the FILP students, we’d like to thank them for their support of this program and providing this opportunity to students in these communities.