Four of rugby league's biggest names have been shortlisted for the inaugural Veronica White Medal for their contributions to local communities.
Australian Jillaroos representatives Ali Brigginshaw (Broncos), Simaima Taufa (Roosters) and Kezie Apps (Dragons) join Warriors and Kiwi Ferns superstar Honey Hireme as finalists for the award, with the winner to be announced on grand final day at ANZ Stadium on October 6.
The Veronica White Medal was unveiled by the NRL in June and is a direct equivalent to the men's Ken Stephen Medal.
White has been involved in rugby league as a player, coach and administrator for more than 25 years. The Ipswich local was chosen from more than 60 nominations to have the medal named in her honour.
"This medal in her honour is well deserved and I want to call out not only our four finalists, but all of our players, coaches and volunteers that support the same game, our way, amongst thousands of communities throughout Australia and New Zealand," NRL General Manager of the Elite Women's Program Tiffany Slater said.
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"When we announced that there would be a Veronica White Medal, I knew it would be a tough decision to select four finalists from across the elite female playing group, as every single one of them go out of their way to not only encourage junior female participation, but support local community projects for good."
Broncos captain Brigginshaw has been recognised for her work at the club as a Beyond the Broncos ambassador, where she spends time mentoring young Indigenous students.
She also regularly volunteers to take part in club visits to local children's hospitals and recently hosted the NRL's In League in Harmony event in Brisbane.
Taufa is a community project officer at the Sydney Roosters on a full-time basis while juggling her training and match commitments.
She delivers key messages as an accredited NRL State of Mind advocate and voice against violence co-deliverer, visiting more than 6,000 primary and secondary school students across Australia in 2019.
Apps is in a similar role as Taufa on a part-time basis at the Dragons and is also an ambassador for a number of organisations including the Fight Cancer Foundation, who launch and promote Footy Colours Day during the month of September.
Her most memorable community work this year was her budding relationship with 12-year-old cancer survivor Molly Croft during the State of Origin period.
Moments That Matter
The final nominee, Hireme, needs no introduction to the game. Hireme has not featured for the Warriors in the NRLW competition this season as she continues to care for her ill mother in Hamilton.
But her services to the game are second to none. A player-coach for club team Hamilton Tigers, Hireme dedicates hours of her free time every week to develop pathways that could eventually lead to the NZ Warriors' NRL Holden Women’s Premiership team.
Hireme is employed as an adviser to the Halberg Foundation which aims to enhance the lives of physically disabled New Zealanders away from the paddock.