: Digital Image by Charles Knight copyright NRLphotos. NRL Rugby League, Finals Week 3, Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters, Suncorp Stadium, 25th September, 2015.

A host of NRL and NYC players joined local community heroes in being recognised for their tireless work throughout Australian communities at the NRL’s Community and Player Education Awards overnight.
 
In its ninth year, the awards honour grassroots clubs and members, together with NRL and NYC players excelling in their educational and community endeavours.
 
Brett Morris, David Shillington and James Tedesco were among representative stars selected in the 2015 NRL Academic Team of the Year, whilst National Youth Competition players were also recognised, with Bradie Smith from the Knights taking out the Apprentice of the Year award.
 
Winners of the 2015 NRL Community included the Ellenbrook Rabbitohs from Western Australia (Grassroots Club of the Year), David Graham from Palmerston, Northern Territory (Teacher of the Year), Chris Kirkland from Collarenbri, NSW (National Volunteer of the Year) and the St George Illawarra Dragons (NRL Club Community Program of the Year).
 
The Dragons were applauded for their initiative - SCORE Dragons – a community program run alongside the Disability Trust Illawarra and the Illawarra and South Coast Junior Rugby Leagues, which creates an all-inclusive environment for young people aged 12 – 23 living with various levels of disability.
 
NRL CEO Dave Smith said the awards were a highlight of the NRL’s Grand Final week celebrations and an opportunity to publically acknowledge some amazing achievements that largely go unnoticed.
 
“We have some incredible people who give their all for our game and it’s an honour to recognise so many of them in Grand Final week,” said Smith.
 
“From our elite players right through to the parents that help out with coaching and manning the canteens, our rugby league community is the strongest it’s ever been both on and off the field.”
 
Further details on all winners and their backgrounds can be found here.
 
Images of all winners can be found here.
 
An overview of winners and categories can be found below:


NYC Academic Team of the Year:
 

Club

Player

Qualification

Brisbane Broncos

Jack Tuttle

Bachelor of Business – Queensland University of Technology

Canberra Raiders

Lachlan Lewis

Bachelor of Engineering – Australian National University

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Brandon Luamanu

Certificate III & IV in Fitness
Bachelor of Education - Australian College of Physical Education 
Teacher’s Aide at Dorchester School within Reiby Juvenile Detention Centre

Cronulla Sharks

Bradley Deitz

Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science – Australian Catholic University

Gold Coast Titans

Hayden Schwass

Certificate III in Electrot-technology – Gold Coast Institute of TAFE

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Will Pearsall

Certificate III in Carpentry - Orimbah TAFE

Melbourne Storm

Shae Ah Fook

Bachelor of Applied Science (Property and Valuation) (Honours)
– RMIT University

Newcastle Knights

Bradie Smith

Certificate III in Carpentry
Established his own Building Company – Bradie Smith Carpentry

North Queensland Cowboys

Kieran Quabba

Bachelor of Education – James Cook University

Parramatta Eels

Tyrell Fuimaono

Bachelor of Business & Commerce – University of Western Sydney

Penrith Panthers

Oliver Clark

Bachelor of Physiotherapy – Australian Catholic University

St George Illawarra Dragons

Jacob Host

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science – Australian Catholic University

New Zealand Warriors

Toafofoa Sipley

Bachelor of Education – Auckland University


NRL Academic Team of the Year:
 

Club

Player

Qualification

Brisbane Broncos

Todd Lowrie

Certificate IV in Project Management
Certificate IV in Frontline Management
Certificate IV in Small Business
Certificate III in Property (Real Estate)

Canberra Raiders

David Shillington

Bachelor of Business – Canberra University

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Brett Morris

Diploma of Business
Bachelor of Business (Finance)

Gold Coast Titans

Luke Douglas

Associate Degree in Surveying – University of Southern Queensland
Certificate IV in Career Development – Australian Trade College

Melbourne Storm

Dale Finucane

Bachelor of Health and Movement – Australian College of Physical Education 

New Zealand Warriors

Siliva Havili

Bachelor of Health Science (Podiatry) – Auckland University of Technology

North Queensland Cowboys

Rory Kostjasyn

Certificate III in Sport & Recreation
Certificate III & IV in Fitness
Certificate IV in Frontline Management

Parramatta Eels

David Gower

Certificate IV in Career Development
 

St George Illawarra Dragons

George Rose

Graduate Certificate in Commerce – University of Sydney

St George Illawarra Dragons

Joel Thompson

Diploma of Community Services – TAFE Illawarra

Sydney Roosters

Sam Moa

Certificate III in Building & Construction
Certificate IV in Career Development

Wests Tigers

James Tedesco

Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science – Australian Catholic University

Wests Tigers

Keith Galloway

Certificate IV in Career Development  - Career Development Campus
 

National Volunteer of the Year: Chris Kirkland, Collarenebri, Country Rugby League
 
Grassroots Club of the Year: Ellenbrook Rabbitohs, Ellenbrook, Western Australia Rugby League
 
National Teacher of the Year: David Graham, Palmerston, Northern Territory Rugby League
 
NRL Club Community Program of the Year: St George Illawarra Dragons – SCORE Dragons
 
NRL Indigenous Academic Excellence: George Rose and Joel Thompson
 
NRL Pasifika Academic Excellence: Dene Halatau and Bronson Harrison
 
NYC Apprentice of the Year: Bradie Smith