Two local Indigenous school leavers are on their way in their chosen careers with help from the North Queensland Cowboys Learn Earn Legend! program supported by the Australian Government.
After graduating from Pimlico State High School at the end of last year, Chaz Adams is about to start as an apprentice chef at Ribs and Rumps, while Sophee Savage will take up a scholarship to study biomedical engineering at Sydney University.
They met up with Cowboys playmaker Robert Lui on Thursday at the Coffee Club on The Strand in Townsville to talk about their plans for the future.
“It’s great to see these guys so confident as they start their careers and so ready to step up to the challenges that they know will come,” Lui said.
“It’s also really rewarding to know that the club’s Learn Earn Legend! program played a role in building that confidence and helping these guys get to this point.”
Funded by the Australian Government, the Cowboys Learn Earn Legend! provides mentoring and other support to Indigenous year 11 and 12 students to assist them to complete their secondary education and successfully transition into further study, training or employment.
“I’ve always had an interest in cooking, but it wasn’t until after the Learn Earn Legend! staff helped me get into a training course with the McManus Group that I was certain this is the way I wanted to go,” Chaz, who was born and spent his primary school years in the Torres Strait in the Muralug community, said.
The McManus Group, which operates the Coffee Club and Ribs and Rumps stores in Townsville, is one of the program’s industry partners.
Sophee, whose family originates from Darnley Island in the Torres Strait but grew up in Townsville, has always been a high achiever and goalsetter.
She also took advantage of Learn Earn Legend! to help her achieve those goals.
“The staff at Learn Earn Legend! were always there encouraging me and giving me information about opportunities that were coming up,” Sophee explained.
“They also spent a lot of time helping me with my scholarship application to Sydney University.”
That successful application resulted in Sophee being awarded a scholarship to undertake a double degree in biomedical engineering and languages.