Celebrating the Games Unsung Heroes

Michael Ennis said being recognized as a Ken Stephen finalist was one of his proudest career moments to date and on Monday, September 30, Mick, accompanied by wife Simone joined fellow nominees from across all levels of the game for the seventh annual One Community Awards held at Sydneys Town Hall.


More than 350 guests, including NRL club officials and players, award nominees, sponsors and politicians, attended the inspiring ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate Rugby Leagues unsung heroes.


Ennis tireless community work, in particular his ambassador roles for both Camp Quality and Save our Sons placed him in a strong field of nominees for the prestigious Ken Stephen medal. Canberra Raiders Captain Terry Campese took out top honours for the Ken Stephen Medal which was one of eight awards announced on the night.


The Bulldogs would like to extend our congratulations to Bulldogs School to Work graduate Sarah-Maree Allen. Sarah-Maree was one of three finalists from a very impressive field of nominees for the NRL Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award (see Sarah-Maree's bio below).


The $5000 education scholarship was won by fellow finalist Amelia Telford from the Gold Coast Titans program, but to be recognized for her achievements was an outstanding effort by Sarah-Maree!


The One Community Awards is a very special event for Rugby League and this years winners are truly a testament to the amazing work that the players, volunteers and wider grassroots fraternity put into maintaining and developing the quality of our great game," said NRL Interim Community, Culture and Diversity General Manager, Mr Mark deWeerd.


"Congratulations to Terry Campese and all of tonight's award winners as well as the almost 90,000 volunteers who have contributed to the game in the past year.

We are privileged to have them all in our Rugby League community."


Alongside Campese, the nights honour roll includes the following award winners:

Holden Volunteer of the Year - Grahame Wagener, Cronulla, NSW.

Telstra Grassroots Club of the Year Denman Sandy Hollows Junior Rugby League Club, Hunter Valley, NSW.

AAMI Service to the Community Ron Gibbs, Western NSW.

AAMI Service to Refereeing Award Kim-Maree Teale, Macarthur, NSW.

Pullman National Teacher of the Year - Primary Margie Grant, Farnborough State Primary School, QLD; Secondary Daniel Higgins, Singleton High School, NSW.

NRL Young Indigenous League Learn Earn Legend! Amelia Telford, VIC (Titans Beyond Tomorrow Program).

Harvey Norman Women in League Yolande Morris, Darwin, NT.


Sarah-Maree Allen - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs School to Work

As a proud advocate of the NRL's School to Work program, Sarah-Maree demonstrated her commitment to further education by completing her Certificate 2 in Business Studies while still at school at Granville South.


She has now taken on a full time traineeship at Coca Cola while completing her Certificate 3 in Business Studies. Sarah-Maree volunteers her time at School to Work functions to share her experience with the next group of Indigenous students and motivate them to progress through the program.


Sarah-Maree made a huge impact at her local school Granville South, helping mentor younger Indigenous students to settle into the school through the Norta Norta program and playing a vital role in organising NAIDOC day activities.


"Sarah actively demonstrates all of the qualities that both the Learn Earn Legend! and S2W Program's stand for," says Dean Feeney, NRL School to Work, Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs Aboriginal Project Officer.


"She is immensely proud of her heritage and shares this pride with her peers.


"Sarah is an inspiration to everyone around her and I am very proud and honoured to be a part of this young ladies life."