Indigenous students in Orange, Parkes and Cowra could have the chance to be mentored by the likes of NSW Rugby legends Matt Burke, Ben Robinson or even Rocky Elsom as part of the Learn Earn Legend program.
Project co-ordinator and former rugby player Jim Williams was in Orange yesterday to talk with schools about recruiting indigenous students into the program so that they may be better placed to stay in school and further their education.
“Some indigenous kids don’t have a great track record when it comes to attendance so this is all about giving them the support they need to either get a trade, a job or go to university,” he said.
“It is a massive issue.”
The Learn Earn Legend program is fully federally funded and run by the state government. Mr Williams said students would be paired with mentors from the entire NSW rugby community.
“It will be one-on-one so they get that connection with a mentor,” he said.
“The program will coincide with a number of other programs designed to get the numbers up of indigenous kids going to university or getting a trade.”
Mr williams said students will be individually assessed so that the right mentor can be found.
“Kids who might want a trade will be paired with say a former player who is now in that trade or if they want to go into business we’ll pair them with a successful business person,” he said.
Mr Williams said he hopes to kick off the program within four weeks.