Updated: Jul 21, 2021


The fourth Bennelong Cup was a huge success. NRL School to Work, Souths Cares Nanga Mai Marri and Clontarf Foundation 2020 program graduates joined NRL legends including Cooper Cronk, Cliff Lyons and Steve Menzies plus corporate partners in a touch football competition (sixteen teams) to vie for the 2021 Bennelong Cup at Randwick Army Barracks.

After the game, a luncheon (240 people) was held at Souths Juniors where eight students were presented with Bennelong Cup scholarship programs and offered apprenticeships with BGIS, Scentre Group, United Group Limited and Bennelong Energy Services (BES). Over 45 young Indigenous Project Managers and graduates took part in both events.

The NRL School to Work team and Souths Cares in collaboration with BES and BGIS, hosted the events.

Event Organiser and Director at Bennelong Energy Services, Gaven Sheehan said, “The events continue to grow year on year and most importantly identify and find more employment opportunities for Indigenous students. The facilities management industry is one of the biggest employers in the country. The events are about finding the next generation to service our industry.

“Supporting Indigenous families and their children find rewarding jobs is an important part of the work we do at BES and was a key driver for establishing the Bennelong Cup.”

“Since inception of the Bennelong Cup, 24 positions have been filled for Indigenous students, eight of which were offered this year in the fields of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, project management and administration. Sport has proven to be an excellent catalyst for bringing employers and future employees together in a non-confrontational social context,” Mr Sheehan added.

“BGIS has a strong and rewarding relationship with the NRL School to Work program, and we’re thrilled to sponsor the Bennelong Cup for a third consecutive year,” said Brad Robbins, BGIS’ Managing Director - Operations, Defence and FMO.” “The event has quickly become a cornerstone of our Indigenous engagement strategy, connecting us with talented young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who we support, mentor and help transition into the facilities management industry. Since our first year of involvement, BGIS has employed 10 graduates in a range of trades and business support roles and we look forward to creating even more employment opportunities as our partnership with BES and the NRL School to Work program continues.”

“CBRE is once again delighted to participate in this year’s Bennelong Cup. CBRE is firmly committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusivity in the workplace and are honoured to support and be a part of the NRL School to Work program that introduces graduates to future employment opportunities. This event is a great way for CBRE to connect and network with Indigenous students and we are thrilled to be able to offer several employment opportunities across our business this year,” said Emma Forster Mitrovski, Senior Managing Director, Global Workplace Solutions, CBRE Pacific.

Shaun Humphries, NRL School to Work Program Manager, comments, ““Following participation in the Bennelong Cup, 24 students have been placed in meaningful careers. It is great to see that students have been able to establish themselves in career pathways that not only support them to develop their career aspirations but provide access to resources that help to establish successful long-term careers.”

The NRL School to Work program continues to kick major goals with 2500 students graduating from the Indigenous initiative. In 2020, despite the massive disruption to year 12 students, 500 students successfully achieved high school certificates across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

The Australian government has supported the program since 2012 and has agreed to provide an additional three years of funding (2020 – 2022). The NRL School to Work Program successfully supports Indigenous participants through their senior years of high school and allows them to transition into meaningful education and employment opportunities

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