League heroes inspire indigenous people
QUEENSLAND'S rugby league heroes are not just great footy players - they also play an important role in improving the numeracy and literacy skills of indigenous students.
Both current and former league greats have committed themselves to the Artie program, and indigenous youth are benefiting hugely from their involvement.
The name Artie honours former league and Origin great Artie Beetson, himself a proud indigenous person, and the word is an acronym for Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education.
The "ARTIE" website says the program provides an opportunity for indigenous students attending Queensland secondary schools to participate in a program that encourages and rewards academic, cultural and sporting achievement through engagement and incentive programs.
Young Gladstone people yesterday had an opportunity to pick up loads of encouragement from league stars Brent Tait and Steve Price and the hope is that they will see that the way to stardom is a path that anyone of them could take if they set their minds to it.
The Artie program has had some great wins over the years, and many a young person who could well have been left behind has received that piece of motivation to achieve.
Educational achievement by indigenous students has been dismally slow over the years, and it's programs such as Artie that will change this trend - and it already has proved to be successful.
Statistics show that the number of indigenous students who attend university has grown in dramatic proportions over the past five years, and a great deal of that success comes from programs such as Artie.
That league stars and legends help to create this success is admirable.
Long may it continue.