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Posted by RLPA

October 03, 2015

Players honoured for community work

A host of NRL and NYC players joined local community heroes in being recognised for their tireless work throughout Australian communities at the NRL’s Community and Player Education Awards.

In its ninth year, the awards honour grassroots clubs and members, together with NRL and NYC players excelling in their educational and community endeavours.

Brett Morris, David Shillington and James Tedesco were among representative stars selected in the 2015 NRL Academic Team of the Year, whilst National Youth Competition players were also recognised, with Bradie Smith from the Knights taking out the Apprentice of the Year award.

Winners of the 2015 NRL Community included the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs from Western Australia (Grassroots Club of the Year), David Graham from Palmerston, Northern Territory (Teacher of the Year), Chris Kirkland from Collarenbri, NSW (National Volunteer of the Year) and the St George Illawarra Dragons (NRL Club Community Program of the Year).

The Dragons were applauded for their initiative – SCORE Dragons – a community program run alongside the Disability Trust Illawarra and the Illawarra and South Coast Junior Rugby Leagues, which creates an all-inclusive environment for young people aged 12 – 23 living with various levels of disability.

NRL CEO Dave Smith said the awards were a highlight of the NRL’s Grand Final week celebrations and an opportunity to publically acknowledge some amazing achievements that largely go unnoticed.

“We have some incredible people who give their all for our game and it’s an honour to recognise so many of them in Grand Final week,” said Smith.

“From our elite players right through to the parents that help out with coaching and manning the canteens, our rugby league community is the strongest it’s ever been both on and off the field.”

Community and Player Education Awards winners:

  • National Volunteer of the Year: Chris Kirkland, Collarenebri, Country Rugby League
  • Grassroots Club of the Year: Ellenbrook Rabbitohs, Ellenbrook, Western Australia Rugby League
  • National Teacher of the Year: David Graham, Palmerston, Northern Territory Rugby League
  • NRL Club Community Program of the Year: St George Illawarra Dragons – SCORE Dragons 
  • NRL Indigenous Academic Excellence: George Rose and Joel Thompson
  • NRL Pasifika Academic Excellence: Dene Halatau and Bronson Harrison
  • NYC Apprentice of the Year: Bradie Smith
  • NRL Academic Team of the Year:
    • Brisbane Broncos Todd Lowrie – Certificate IV in Project Management, Certificate IV in Frontline Management, Certificate IV in Small Business, Certificate III in Property (Real Estate)
    • Canberra Raiders David Shillington – Bachelor of Business Canberra University
    • Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs Brett Morris – Diploma of Business, Bachelor of Business (Finance)
    • Gold Coast Titans Luke Douglas – Associate Degree in Surveying University of Southern Queensland, Certificate IV in Career Development Australian Trade College
    • Melbourne Storm Dale Finucane – Bachelor of Health and Movement, Australian College of Physical Education
    • New Zealand Warriors Siliva Havili – Bachelor of Health Science (Podiatry) Auckland University of Technology
    • North Queensland Cowboys Rory Kostjasyn – Certificate III in Sport & Recreation, Certificate III & IV in Fitness, Certificate IV in Frontline Management
    • Parramatta Eels David Gower – Certificate IV in Career Development
    • St George Illawarra Dragons George Rose – Graduate Certificate in Commerce University of Sydney
    • St George Illawarra Dragons Joel Thompson – Diploma of Community Services, TAFE Illawarra
    • Sydney Roosters Sam Moa – Certificate III in Building & Construction, Certificate IV in Career Development
    • Wests Tigers James Tedesco – Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science Australian Catholic University
    • Wests Tigers Keith Galloway – Certificate IV in Career Development Career Development Campus
  • NYC Academic Team of the Year:
    • Brisbane Broncos Jack Tuttle – Bachelor of Business Queensland University of Technology
    • Canberra Raiders Lachlan Lewis – Bachelor of Engineering Australian National University
    • Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs Brandon Luamanu – Certificate III & IV in Fitness, Bachelor of Education – Australian College of Physical Education, Teacher’s Aide at Dorchester School within Reiby Juvenile Detention Centre
    • Cronulla Sharks Bradley Deitz – Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science Australian Catholic University
    • Gold Coast Titans Hayden Schwass – Certificate III in Electrot-technology Gold Coast Institute of TAFE
    • Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Will Pearsall – Certificate III in Carpentry Orimbah TAFE
    • Melbourne Storm Shae Ah Fook – Bachelor of Applied Science (Property and Valuation) (Honours) RMIT University
    • Newcastle Knights Bradie Smith – Certificate III in Carpentry, Established his own Building Company – Bradie Smith Carpentry
    • North Queensland Cowboys Kieran Quabba – Bachelor of Education James Cook University
    • Parramatta Eels Tyrell Fuimaono – Bachelor of Business & Commerce University of Western Sydney
    • Penrith Panthers Oliver Clark – Bachelor of Physiotherapy Australian Catholic University
    • St George Illawarra Dragons Jacob Host – Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science Australian Catholic University
    • New Zealand Warriors Toafofoa Sipley – Bachelor of Education Auckland University 
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