School to Work supporting Indigenous youth

Young Woolooware High Student Amy Curmi, as a result of her own hard work and diligence, coupled with the assistance of the Sharks and the School to Work program, has been afforded an outstanding career opportunity with the NRL.

Involved in the NRL's School to Work, a program which commenced in 2012 and utilises the positive profile of rugby league to support and encourage young Indigenous Australians to complete high school and move into work or further education, Curmi will soon begin a Business Traineeship with the NRL.

Curmi is one of more than 750 students to been involved with the program thus far, with the aim to reach out to 1500 in the next three years. So far 99.1 per cent of graduates have successfully transitioned into further education or sustainable employment.

Currently in Year 12, the 17-year-old Curmi will take on the traineeship part time while completing her HSC studies, before working at NRL headquarters fulltime beginning in 2018.

“I’ll be doing three days work with the NRL and two days school until I finish my HSC,” Curmi said. “Then full time next year.

Former Sharks NRL player Daniel Holdsworth, one of 11 School to Work program officers working with NRL clubs, has assisted Curmi throughout the program.

“Amy is a bright, motivated girl who has worked hard, has a big future ahead of her and definitely deserves this opportunity she has been given with the NRL,” Holdsworth said. “I’ve enjoyed working with Amy, she has really embraced School to Work which is an outstanding program.

“I just wish it was around back when I was at school,” he added.

While not a prerequisite to becoming involved in School to Work, Curmi was also a member of the Sharks Tarsha Gale under 18’s team in 2017.

Curmi and her Sharks teammates enjoyed a successful season in what was the inaugural year of the Tarsha Gale Cup competition.   

“The Tarsha Gale was heaps of fun. I also play for Cronulla Caringbah and we’re in the semi’s this week. We won it last year so hoping to do it again this year,” she said.

NRL Head of Community and Government Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder said the School to Work program had inspired many to achieve goals and aspirations that may have seemed out of reach before being part of the mentoring program.

"The School to Work program is another example of many programs that the NRL deliver to community members, including some that are not connected with rugby league, that make a true difference and provide a positive impact within society," Mr Boland-Rudder said.

"The NRL has a proud history of supporting Indigenous youth and communities and the School to Work program will continue to inspire hundreds of students each year as they progress through an influential and important time in their lives."

The NRL was officially recognised on the world stage in 2016, winning an award at the Beyond Sport Awards in London for the game’s School to Work program.

The Australian Government has supported the program since its inception and in June this year committed an additional $6.3 million to expand and continue the program through to 2020.

For more information on the Power For Change campaign and the NRL's Indigenous School to Work program, please visit: nrl.com/forchange.