The St George Illawarra Dragons pays respect to the Dharawal people as traditional owners who have, and continue to nurture the land of which our catchment is part.
We acknowledge the consequences of the impact of white settlement for people, communities and our nation.
We believe we can walk together to a better future and are committed to Reconciliation and to promoting greater understanding of Aboriginal cultures within our catchment and the wider community.
The NRL Indigenous Round this week brings awareness to the quest of ‘closing the gap’.
In our programs listed below we aim to promote the importance and value of education being an integral aspect of all life.
Dragons Community helps support and promote NRL Indigenous Advancement through programs across all three of our Pillars:
Promotion of Physical and Mental Health
Dragons support 16 primary schools in our catchment with high indigenous populations in funding the purchase of our Dragons Diary “ The Best You Can Be” which has important messages on Health and Wellbeing. Dragons have also visited these schools to conduct classroom lessons using the diary as a key learning tool.
Engagement in Educations
Dragons Aboriginal Mentoring Programs: Dragons staff and players support in the mentoring of indigenous youth at four After School Learning Centres at, Koonawarra, Corrimal, South Nowra and Kemblawarra. We join Smith Family mentors encouraging kids to engage and invest in learning. Our support adds weight to the importance of education and maintains high attendance.
The Dragons, in 2015, for the first time, will employ the extremely successful ‘School to Work’ program, a transitioning young aboriginals from school to careers, traineeships or into university. 50 young aboriginals will have the opportunity to benefit from the mentoring of the School to Work project officer and Dragons Community staff and players.
Over the past 6 years, Dragons have worked extremely closely with Jervis Bay PS and the Wreck Bay community in delivering programs which reinforce the importance of Education, Health and Wellbeing. This includes support in the fundraising for 9 students to embark on a trip from Blackrock (Jervis Bay) to Red Rock (Uluru) as part of a Year 6 leadership program.
Dragons support Bellambi PS in their values based program ‘PBS – Positive Behaviour for Success’ in providing incentives for every child.
Dragons also support the University of Wollongong’s IN2UNI program which aims to encourage Indigenous youth to value to importance of education, with the goal of increasing numbers of Indigenous youth moving into tertiary education.
Dragons player Joel Thompson is an ambassador for the NRLs Dream Believe Achieve program, targeting aboriginal students in years 9-10..
Dragons have provide indigenous families with special game day experiences, providing invitations and tickets to attend Dragons home games. Particular families are selected, families who would never be in a position to have a ‘family day out’. Often the game day experiences are used as incentives to maintain attendance at school or to succeed in a particular program. Dragons make the ‘experience’ special by providing tours or player engagements once at the ground.
Dragons players attend NAIDOC Day celebrations each year. Highlight in 2015 was at Windang’s ‘Warrigal’ with over 3000 people in attendance.