One of the league's most respected and influential Indigenous players, Josh Addo-Carr has been recognised for his efforts both on and off the field as one of 15 nominees for this year's Ken Stephen Medal.
This is the 31st year the Ken Stephen Medal has been awarded, recognising the efforts of an NRL player who has committed time off the field to supporting community projects.
Addo-Carr is actively involved in the NRL's School to Work program, which is delivered to over 80 students in 14 schools across Victoria. He regularly attends workshops and graduations for the program, where he tells his inspiring story about overcoming hardship to play rugby league at the elite level.
He is a member of the Storm RAP Committee and has attended a number of men’s gatherings across the state, speaking about behavioural change and providing Indigenous men with the opportunity to talk about their experiences.
In May he committed to an ongoing monthly donation to Zoos Victoria’s Sumatran Tiger Adoption Program. The initiative helps Melbourne Zoo care for its big cats and protect the animals from extinction.
Addo-Carr has completed his Certificate IV in Educational Support at RMIT and hopes to pursue opportunities in mentoring and leadership after football.
The 2019 Ken Stephen Medallist will be announced during Grand Final week, with voting now open on NRL.com providing fans the opportunity to select the nominee they feel deserves to be a finalist. The player with the highest number of votes will be included as one of four finalists announced next month.
Three other player finalists will be voted via a panel of judges from across the game’s administration.
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder said this year’s nominees showcased a glimpse of a majority of NRL players who privately support community and charitable initiatives throughout the year.
"Each of the nominees have had wonderful seasons to date and are to be congratulated for focusing their efforts off the field in a range of positive ways, ultimately benefiting their local communities," Mr Boland-Rudder said.
"Regardless of the final award, I thank these nominees – and many more – for their support of the NRL, club and personal community programs throughout the year."
2019 Ken Stephen Medal nominees:
Andrew McCullough – Brisbane Broncos
Sia Soliola – Canberra Raiders
Adam Elliot – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Josh Dugan – Cronulla Sharks
Michael Gordon – Gold Coast Titans
Joel Thompson – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Josh Addo-Carr – Melbourne Storm
Connor Watson – Newcastle Knights
Gavin Cooper – North Queensland Cowboys
Nathan Brown – Parramatta Eels
Frank Winterstein – Penrith Panthers
Corey Norman – St George-Illawarra Dragons
James Tedesco – Sydney Roosters
Agnatius Paasi – New Zealand Warriors
Josh Aloiai – Wests Tigers