League legend leads fight for state’s future

QUEENSLAND legend Johnathan Thurston may have hung up his boots but he is still proving to be a tireless advocate for the Sunshine State, and his latest project is proving far more valuable for his young protégés than any State of Origin win ever could.

The students come from two far north Queensland Indigenous communities, Yarrabah and

The JTBelieve program is one of a number of initiatives of the JTAcademy, developed to help

young Australians, notably those in Indigenous communities, by providing them with the access and support to learn the values and tools that have lead Johnathan Thurston AM to becoming the success he is today.

"The JTBelieve program was designed to help kids improve their self-belief, confidence and

courage in their future abilities and opportunities," Thurston said.

"The JTBelieve program includes what is essentially a set of values and tools to develop these

skills. When the kids agree to participate in the program, which is offered in some Queensland

schools, they agree to a set of values and that commits them to being respectful of themselves, those around them and their community, both within the school and outside of it.

"We believe that by providing programs which help build up the self-belief, confidence, courage and skillsets of youth, they are being given the chance to make decisions about their future based on what they want and what they believe they can achieve.

"The more kids we can reach at school, that we can work with to provide the tools to build

confidence, self-belief and a sense of purpose, the more those kids their families and communities will all benefit," he said.

providing support for these kids and their wider communities and show the power in education.

"My heart is absolutely broken and the whole team at the academy, who many work within this wonderful close tight-knit community, wants to show their support, respect and love during this time."

The camp will be attended by 20 students and staff from the two communities, who have

successfully completed the federally funded JTBelieve program over the past semester.

Hamish Gilbert, 11, from Kowanyama was excited to be taking part.

"We have been learning to introduce ourselves to other people to get more confidence as we grow up," he said.

The camp is a reward for the students dedicated participation in the JTBelieve program where they will have the opportunity to partake in several fun activities along with the highlight of meeting their hero.

Over 50 students applied to take part in the JTBelieve program. These students submitted

applications to nominate to be part of the program and the successful applicants were chosen by community and school representatives.