Roar players to mentor Indigenous jobseekers

Brisbane Roar has teamed up with official partner Mission Australia in a bid to tackle Indigenous unemployment through a joint initiative where players will play a mentoring role to jobseekers over the next 12 months.

Brisbane Roar has teamed up with official partner Mission Australia in a bid to tackle Indigenous unemployment through a joint initiative where players will play a mentoring role to jobseekers over the next 12 months.

The Indigenous Employment Program (IEP), funded by the Australia Government, will help participants develop the skills and confidence needed to secure employment, which includes information on motivation, goal setting, employer expectations, nutrition, fitness and career planning.

This will occur through ongoing contact with one of the ten Brisbane Roar mentors - Hyundai A-League players Andrew Redmayne, Kofi Danning, Massimo Murdocca and Michael Theoklitos, Westfield W-League players Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Butt, Lauren Colthorpe and Elise Kellond-Knight and National Youth League players Chris Bush and Matthew Thurtell.

At the official launch at Ballymore Stadium yesterday, Theoklitos was confident that the involvement of the Roar players would prove beneficial for the program participants.

“It-s a great initiative,” he said.

“I-m so excited at potentially helping and mentoring Indigenous people.

“It-s a great concept, they get to spend a bit of time with us and we-re there for support.

“Mission Australia is a great company that will train them up and they-ll have direct contact with players.

“It-s more of a mentoring thing and if we can help them out in any way, it-s great.”

The three-time Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year has a wealth of knowledge and experiences to draw from but was most looking forward to playing a supporting role in the jobseekers- bid to gain steady employment.

“With anything in life, you have to work hard if you want to achieve things and sustaining a job is no different,” Theoklitos said.

“You have to make sure you turn up on time and do the right thing and do your job well.

“That-s what happens on the weekends - if we do our job well, we get a result and if we don-t, we tend to lose so it-s similar to football.

“There are times when players aren-t having a good day at the office and we-re there to pick them up and it-s no different with these guys.

“If they-re finding it tough, we-re a text away, a phone call away, just to give them a little lift and a bit of encouragement.”

Mission Australia Employment Solutions- Queensland General Manager Phil Schultz was pleased to announce the initiative, saying it is a “win-win situation” for everyone involved.

“It-s fantastic to have them involved and be able to use them as a partner and use their partners as well to address Indigenous unemployment,” he said.

“The participants are very excited to be working with the players and by the same token, the players are very excited to be giving back.

“They-ll mentor the participants through the program, we-ll find them work and then we-ll work together to show them the right direction and teach them about teamwork and things like that going forward.”

The IEP is the latest development in a growing partnership between the club and Mission Australia with the organisation also the front-of-shirt sponsor for the Roar-s National Youth League team.