The St George Illawarra Dragons were honoured to present their unique and successful programs to respective Members of Parliament as part of Friends of Parliament initiative in Canberra on Wednesday.
Dragons CEO Peter Doust, alongside COO Michael McDonald, Community Manager Paul Everill and Club Ambassadors Mark Gasnier and Wendell Sailor, met with MPs representing the Federal seats of Banks and Barton (St George District) and Cunningham, Throsby and Gilmore (Illawarra/South Coast).
The Dragons were honoured to present The Hon. David Coleman MP, Federal Member for Banks; The Hon. Sharon Bird MP, Federal Member for Cunningham; The Hon. Ann Sudmalis MP, Federal Member for Gilmore; The Hon. Nick Varvaris MP, Federal Member for Barton and The Hon. Stephen Jones MP, Federal Member for Throsby with the following:
- Dragons In The Classroom; educational resource which is a very popular resource used in local schools covering topics around nutrition, values, environment, reading and sleep.
- Graduates of League program; initiated by Club captain Ben Creagh now being deployed across the NRL with the aim of supporting and encouraging players to enrol in tertiary education.
- The Clubs various environmental programs which, in partnership with BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal, delivers powerful messages around sustainability highlighted by the key activity of a morning radio broadcast at a selected local school
- Author Sarah Tillot's book Dusty and Friends; piloted in schools as part of the Clubs Early Childhood program in conjunction with the NRL and to be used within the University of Wollongongs Early Start initiative in 2015
- The Score Dragons initiative encouraging total inclusion of youth with disabilities into a local junior league competition in the Illawarra. For parents of these players, it is the first time they get to see their child playing a mainstream sporting competition while encouraging mainstream players and families the importance of tolerance, respect and inclusiveness.
The Dragons are very proud of their involvement and achievements in many diverse programs across the community. The Rugby League Comes to Canberra initiative allows us to showcase this very important part of what we do.
It is vital for politicians to recognise and support the fantastic community work done by Rugby League across Australia and the Dragons look forward to building relationships to help do just that.