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Thanks to the work done between the Australian Defence Force and the NRL School to Work Program, Indigenous students like Katie Smart are able to learn about the opportunities available in the Australian Defence Force.

The partnership between the ADF and School to Work Program has led to training, information and career opportunities becoming more available to Indigenous students across New South Wales, Queensland, ACT and Victoria.

"Career-wise I had no idea what I wanted to do," Smart said.

"The NRL School to Work Program showed me different opportunities like first aid training with the Roosters and that sort of influenced my decision to become a medic in the ADF."

For students, the cooperation between the ADF and School to Work has provided the perfect opportunity for employment.

"The NRL School to Work Program has showed me opportunities and the army has let me live them," said Tyler Meharg, a trainee plumber in the army.

The School to Work program, which started in 2012, has been able to help over 2000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by providing training and career opportunities like the ones with the ADF.

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"The NRL School to Work program tackles the gap in school attendance rates as it requires students to maintain an 85 per cent attendance rate at school," said Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel David Chester.

For Chester, seeing how programs such as School to Work are able to work with the ADF further adds to the recent success of the Australian Defence Force with its recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"Specialist recruiters are participating in the program, sharing their stories and showing how Indigenous Australians are encouraged and supported to achieve their goals in the ADF," Chester said. 

"I am proud to see that more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are starting their careers in the ADF. Since 1 July 2018, seven per cent of permanent recruits have been Indigenous men and women."

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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