A grass-roots club that has only been running for two years in the far reaches of the Kimberley in Western Australia, and a man with a vision for Wheelchair Rugby League are just two of the remarkable 2012 One Community Award finalists announced today.
Joseph Chidiac has been named as a finalist for the AAMI Service to the Community Award for his work volunteering as the President of Wheelchair Rugby League Australia.
Unable to play Rugby League due to his disability, he has dedicated himself for the past eight years to creating pathways for Australians with disabilities to play the game.
“Joseph is a truly inspirational man and the work he continues to do to raise the profile of Wheelchair Rugby League is especially awe-inspiring,” NSWRL Development Manager, Martin Meredith said.
“I can think of no one more deserving to have been listed as a finalist for this award than Joseph. His generosity and passion for Rugby League touches the lives of everyone he meets in the community.”
Now in its sixth year, the One Community Awards honour the outstanding contributions made by Rugby League’s volunteers, grass-roots clubs, teachers, students, and NRL players.
“The One Community Awards are our way of saying thank you to people like Joseph for the countless hours they commit to the Rugby League community. They undoubtedly make the game what it is today,” said NRL General Manager of Community, Culture and Diversity, Ms Trish Crews.
“While we have more than 84,000 volunteers throughout Australia, these finalists are particularly worthy of acknowledgement, with many having dedicated more than 20 years of service to Rugby League.”
The finalists are in the running for more than $50,000 in prizes across eight award categories, including the Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra and the Toyota National Volunteer of the Year.
The ARL Commission Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award will be presented for a second time this year, recognising a young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander for outstanding achievement and application to education, employment, culture and the community.
The winners of the 2012 One Community Awards will be announced at Sydney’s Town Hall on September 24, officially kicking-off Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week.
The finalists for the 2012 One Community Awards are:
Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra
Telstra will give $5,000 to the winner and $5,000 to their favourite charity.
Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos), Terry Campese (Canberra Raiders), Dene Halatau (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Ben Ross (Cronulla Sharks), Scott Prince (Gold Coast Titans), George Rose (Manly Sea Eagles), Matt Duffie (Melbourne Storm), Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys), Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels), Tim Grant (Penrith Panthers), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons), Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters), Elijah Taylor (Warriors), Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers).
Toyota National Volunteer of the Year
Toyota will provide $5,000 to the winner and $5,000 to their club.
Kelly Campbell (St George JRL, NSW), Garry Dunnett (Fitzroy / Gracemere RL, QLD), James Sullivan (South Perth RL, WA), Tom Tassell (Cairns DJRL and Kangaroos JRL, QLD), Shirley Rostron (Swansea JRL, NSW), Debbie Sellin (Dayboro RL, QLD), Tom Kelly (South West JRL, QLD), Sonya Olsen (Gin Gin RL, QLD), Wendy Mullins (Wagga Wagga, NSW), Tony Bignold (Balmain JRL, NSW), Peter Martin (Colyton-Mt Druitt JL, NSW), Steve Warwick (NSW), Garry Hewen (Grenfell RL, NSW), Rick Lennon (Marist Brothers JRL, NSW), Phil Murray (Cronulla JRL, NSW).
Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Award
Harvey Norman will provide a $5,000 Harvey Norman Gift Card to the winner.
Linda Holton (Terrigal RLC, NSW), Lyn Phyllis (Balmain JRL, NSW), Sandra Currie (Charleville – Western RL, QLD), Jessica Palmer (ARLD, NSW), Pat Bailey (Cairns District, QLD), Maria Edwards (Victorian Rugby League, VIC).
Telstra One Community Grass-roots Club of the Year
Telstra will provide two Telstra Assistance Packs (valued at $2,000 each) plus $2,000 to the winning club.
Rockhampton Brothers JRLC (Rockhampton, QLD), Kimberley Rugby League Association (Kimberley, WA), Holy Cross JRLFC (Leichhardt, NSW).
AAMI Service to the Community Award
AAMI will provide $5,000 towards the winning community program.
Joseph Chidiac (Wheelchair Rugby League Australia), Mindfield at the NSW Powerhouse Museum (Greater Western Sydney, NSW), Peter Scott (Cooktown, QLD).
AAMI Service to Refereeing Award
AAMI will provide $2,500 to the winner.
Barry Beveridge (Balmain Referees Association, NSW), Richard Johnston (Wide Bay Referees Association, QLD), Greg Mills (VRL Referees Association, VIC).
ARL Commission National Teacher of the Year Award – Primary and Secondary
ARLC will provide $2,500 to the winning teachers and a $500 equipment pack for their schools.
Primary: Jarrad Folpp (Woodberry PS, NSW), Dave Roberts (Maryong PS, NSW), Bruce Fox (Broadbeach, QLD).
Secondary: Clare Rayner (Warrandyte HS, VIC), Dave Porter (Wavell State HS, QLD), Mark Ippolito (Kadina HS, NSW).
ARL Commission Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award
The winner will receive $5,000 towards further education presented by DEEWR in partnership with the Australian Government’s Learn Earn Legend! program.