Friday, June 15th, 2012 - The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services, Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women

The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services, Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women

A group of young Indigenous students from across NSW will be celebrating tonight at the State of Origin match in Sydney – no matter the result.

The 30 members of the NRL Learn Earn Legend! State of Origin Job Experience Program are attending State of Origin II as the finale to five days of cultural, leadership, mentoring and work experience activities.

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Julie Collins, said the participants selected for the program demonstrate the spirit of Learn Earn Legend!

“They go to school, apply themselves to completing apprenticeships or traineeships and are active members of their communities,” Ms Collins said.

“They are setting good examples for their friends and other young people in their communities. I look forward to meeting these young achievers at tonight’s match.

“I hope they enjoy the game and this great experience and wish them all the best in their future careers."

The five-day leadership camp in Sydney is the second stage of this year’s program, which began in January and will finish in September.

State of Origin partners and the NRL offer job experience in a range of industries including hospitality, broadcasting, event management, transport and sports administration.

The communities of Coonamble, Grafton, Narromine, Toormina and Wellington are taking part in the program, which builds on the success of the inaugural 2011 Learn Earn Legend! State of Origin Job Experience Program.

In last year’s program intake, year-12 student Jessica Smith-Karkoe, took her skills back to her community, volunteering with the Moree Salvation Army.

She is now working full-time for the Salvation Army in Sydney and completing a traineeship in youth work.

“Being part of the program last year gave me the confidence to go to interviews and land a job that I love,” Jessica said.

“My goal is to help people in an area I am passionate about.”

The Australian Government is partnering with community leaders and sporting stars to spread the Learn Earn Legend! message - stay at school, get that job and be a legend for yourself, your family and your community

“Education as a pathway to good jobs is the Government’s top priority in closing the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade,” Ms Collins said.

For more information visit: http://www.deewr.gov.au/indigenous/

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The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services, Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women

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A group of young Indigenous students from across NSW will be celebrating tonight at the State of Origin match in Sydney – no matter the result.

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