Indigenous Advancement

The St George Illawarra Dragons are committed to reconciliation and to promoting greater understanding of Aboriginal cultures and Indigenous advancement within our catchment and the wider community. 

The overall aim of the Dragons Indigenous mentoring programs is to engage young Indigenous children in a love of learning. Dragons players assist students with school work and participate in various activities.  

Proudly supported by the NRL Indigenous All Stars

What is the School 2 Work program?

The School 2 Work program is an education and employment program that utilises the positive profile of the game of rugby league to support and encourage young Indigenous Australians to stay at school, get a job, and be a legend for themselves, their families and their communities.

A combined initiative of the 10 NRL clubs including the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Australian Government's Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the National Rugby League;

S2W provides young Indigenous Australians with work experience, mentoring and leadership opportunities to ensure they successfully complete school and transition into further study, training or meaningful employment.

The S2W Program is backed by an exceptional team of NRL players, staff, community, government and business supporters.

Why was the School to Work Program formed?

In 2012, four NRL Clubs joined forces to deliver the S2W Program to address the Australian Government's key 'Closing the Gap' targets for Indigenous students in Western Sydney.

They are:

  • To halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 equivalent attainment by 2020; and,
  • To halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

The Dragons became involved in the program for the first time in 2015.

Learning centres

The St George Illawarra Dragons players assisted with mentoring programs in learning centres as well as programs with the Smith Family and Mission Australia, engaging young Indigenous students in a love of learning with regular visits during terms two and three to our nominated learning centres.

Jervis Bay School Program

The St George Illawarra Dragons, in conjunction with the University of Wollongong, have committed to assist students at Jervis Bay Public School and the wider Wreck Bay Community.

All Stars

The St George Illawarra Dragons, in conjunction with the NRL Indigenous All Stars have successfully provided increased opportunities, through rugby league, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to access quality programs aimed at closing the gap between Indigenous and other Australians across key social indicators such as education, employment and health. 

The main focus of the program demonstrates how sport can play an active role in sustainable social change.