by Tayla Kafoa
Sharks School to Work Project Officer
The Indigenous Youth Summit, facilitated by Mirri Mirri in partnership with the Australia Federal Government and the NRL, saw 61 students from Australia and New Zealand come together to participate in numerous cultural and leadership workshops, along with activities and discussions to assist in developing their leadership skills within their school and greater community.
In February the Sharks sent four students to the 2020 summit, held on the Gold Coast following the NRL All Stars Game, with Emma Smith and Carlos Brennan later chosen as 2020 Youth Ambassadors in an outstanding achievement.
The four attendees were students to attend the Gold Coast Youth Summit were recognised for their leaderships qualities and a desire to grow and learn more about themselves and their culture.
Each year students can apply for the role of Youth Ambassador, which requires a written application demonstrating their communication and leadership skills and how they would positively represent Indigenous people, their culture and communities.
After being shortlisted in the top 20 each student was interviewed by a panel of NRL executives, with a top four selected.
These four students then worked with a mentor to write their closing speeches which were delivered to the students, Miri Miri staff, NRL staff and executives.
This year three of the top four applicants came from the Sharks, an achievement about which the club is extremely proud of.
After delivering their speeches the student cohort then gathered to announce that Smith and Brennan were rewarded with selection as two of the 2020 Youth Ambassadors, the first year that the Cronulla Sharks have had students selected as Youth Ambassadors.
The NRL School to Work Program and the club will now work closely with Emma and Carlos to provide opportunities and experiences throughout the year to showcase their stories and support them on their journey to becoming young leaders of our community.
The Sharks are proud supporters of the NRL School to Work Program, its participants and their achievements.
Schools wishing to be involved in the program are encouraged to contact Tayla Kafoa at the Sharks via email on [email protected].
Also see included, a video message from Andrew Fifita to School to Work students.