Melbourne Storm's own, Josh Addo-Carr, was at the graduation of the School to Work program which helps students to complete their Year 12 Education and successfully transition into further education or employment.
Addo-Carr was joined by Melbourne Football Club players, Neville Jetta and Jeffy Garlett and Harrison Goddard from the Melbourne Rebels at the ceremony which included students, families, teachers and employees who all shared and celebrated the fantastic achievements of the year 12 students.
The students also had the chance to hear from the four Indigenous athletes who spoke about their own journeys and the barriers and obstacles they had to overcome to succeed in their prospective football codes. The four athletes also helped to deliver a workshop on Resilience, Facing your Fear and the importance of having a strong identity.
The day commenced with an Acknowledgement to Country performed by proud Yorta Yorta man and one of the program's graduates, Jamarl Firebrace,
Melbourne Girls College student, Isabella Coates, was one of many students from the 15 schools in Victoria taking part in the program.
"It was such a great day to hear from such proud Aboriginal role models. Hearing about what they have had to overcome to succeed, inspires me to step out of my comfort zone to achieve success in my own life." Isabella said.
Throughout the year, Melbourne Storm have supported the program through various avenues including providing 12-month Work Placements and work experience for the students in the program.
A participant in the program, Rylie Cadd from Parade College, asked the players questions about their upbringing, influences, and achieving their goals. The players spoke candidly about experiences of racism, and resilience for managing challenging situations. Extremely important messages for the students to hear.
School to Work participant Glenda Smith, completed her Certificate III in Sports and Recreation during her final year of school. As part of her commitment to her Sport and Recreation Certificate, the year 12 student was required to undertake work placement and through the School to Work Program offered her the opportunity to learn the ropes from game development officers.
"I have always played sport as far as I can remember, and it has always been a big part of my life," Smith said.
"I have loved being a part of the NRL School to Work program, as it has given me the unique opportunity to gain experience in the area that I am passionate in."
This year the NRL's School to Work Program had 385 students from across the country complete their Year 12 education. An additional 500 students are expected to be supported through the program in 2019 which is funded by the Federal Government.
The program also offered three students from remote Western Australian communities work experience at the Storm as part of their school requirements. The students from Halls Creek, Beagle Bay and Wyndham were embraced by the Club, and on their last day gave a presentation on their culture and their communities back home to all Melbourne Storm staff.
In a special moment for staff, the three students, Che Watson, Deklan Garcia and George Dann, made a presentation sharing their personal stories on culture, family and growing up in remote communities, including how to hunt goanna!