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Indigenous students meet future employers at Bennelong Cup

More than 30 NRL School to Work and Souths Cares Nanga Mai Marri program graduates participated in the third annual Bennelong Cup on Friday 14 February 2020. They were joined by former NRL stars Cliff Lyons, Preston Campbell and Greg Inglis, as well as corporate partners, for a friendly game of touch football, followed by lunch.

Fourteen touch football teams (including 168 players) participated. The luncheon, which was held at Souths Juniors and attended by over 280 people, was a chance to celebrate student achievements and introduce graduates to future employers.

Several new apprenticeships and traineeships were awarded to the 2019 program graduates by BGIS. Past student Maddi Parr, who is now working at Evolve FM, spoke about how she benefited from the NRL School to Work program. Special guest Des Hasler shared his experience working with Indigenous footballers.

The events were hosted by the NRL School to Work team and Souths Cares, in collaboration with Bennelong Energy Services (BES) and BGIS.

Event Organiser and BES Director Gaven Sheehan said the events were a resounding success. “Facilities and project management companies have embraced the opportunity to find employment opportunities for Indigenous students. Several apprenticeships including plumbing, carpentry and a project management trainee role have been offered. BES also recently employed our fourth Indigenous apprentice.”

BGIS returned to sponsor the Bennelong Cup for a second consecutive year. "The event provides a fantastic forum to build relationships with the talented young Indigenous men and women in the program, and give back to the communities in which we operate,” said Brad Robbins, BGIS’ Managing Director - Operations, Defence and FMO. “Through Bennelong Cup initiatives, we’ve been able to provide trade apprenticeships to two students from the NRL School to Work program.”

CBRE also participated in the event. “It’s a great opportunity for us to connect with Indigenous students, listen to their stories and engage with the next wave of young property professionals,” said Emma Forster Mitrovski, Senior Managing Director, Global Workplace Solutions, CBRE Pacific.

Mark Kucks, National Indigenous Manager at Hutchinson Builders, said that his company has supported the Bennelong Cup since its inception. The simple gesture of giving someone a job has the ability to change an individual’s life, as well as that of their families.”

The events raised approximately $27,000 for the Indigenous charities Souths Cares and Cowboy House, as well as the government-funded NRL School to Work program ($9,000 each).