Origin greats help ‘close the gap’


Queensland’s Former Origin Greats were at Suncorp Stadium today but not to take to the footy field.

They were holding an expo to help indigenous job seekers.

Lauren Penny reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The Former Origin Greats wants to assist in Closing the Gap in education and employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The expo aims to create future job aspirations for students to avoid them falling through the cracks when they finish school.

With only 46% of the Indigenous working age population in jobs today it is hoped events like this will help to increase those numbers.

Executive Chairman of FOGS Gene Miles says around 5,000 students were expected to turn out today.

One of the major attractions is a chance to meet their Origin idols.

Wendell Sailor: “I think it gives the kids an opportunity to talk to some of their heroes and that, but for us to let them know how important it is to stay at school, get that education, if you want to get that job whether it’s university or whether it’s a trade.”

Students agree that it’s a great opportunity.

Tyhesia Pyne, Tullawong student: “Yeah it is, because there’s not many opportunities for Indigenous kids.”

Brenthon Monaei, Earnshaw student: “Myself, I see opportunities and I just go for it.”

Meanwhile, Suncorp today announced extending its sponsorship with the Queensland Rugby League for another three years, as well as a partnership with the Queensland Ballet.

The State of Origin team hope to learn some strategies from their new partners, in the lead up to the series next year.

Mal Meninga, Qld State of Origin Head Coach: “We’ve got to leave no stone unturned really, so I’ll talk to Li about having a look at some of those moves and then we’ll see if we can adapt it to our game and if we think those moves are going to make us a better team, why not?”

The organisations see the collaboration as a great opportunity for art and sport to come together in the community.

Lauren Penny, QUT News.