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This week the NSW Blues Under 18's Origin side blitzed Queensland 56-6 in the Origin curtain-raiser, which shows the amazing talent being fostered in NSW junior clubs.

But for Parramatta Eels SG Ball player Tyrell Fuimaono, making the State of Origin side was a greater achievement.

Tyrell is the first person going through the Aboriginal Australian "School To Work" program to be selected for a representative side.

The "Learn, Earn, Legend!" scheme helps create pathways to successful careers for Aboriginal students in years 11 and 12, to help them move into further study, training or meaningful employment

In between studying for his HSC at Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown, Tyrell is attending career workshops and university admissions programs to continue his education beyond high school.

His supervisor Belinda Solomon is the Aboroginal Project Officer in the Penrith region, and says Tyrell is a remarkable young man.

"He's very polite and well-behaved, he's definitely got his head screwed on," she said.

"He already knows what he wants to do, and he pays attention and gets school awards. He's an excellent student."

Tyrell's efforts in the program, combined with his success on the football field means he's a prime example of the School To Work system in action.

"Even though we use the players at the Parramatta Eels now as role models and extra mentors, for Tyrell to be a participant in the program it's great to see," Solomon said.

"If it worked for Tyrell, it can work for others; and him playing football makes it more special for kids to see."

"They can look up to him a bit more. Even though it's our job to mentor the kids in the program, the kids also look up to Tyrell."

Having just turned 17, Tyrell is eligible to play again for the Eels' SG Ball side next season, and is likely to get a run in the Under 20s Holden Cup side as well.

"Tyrell is getting top marks and having no issues, so what we've worked on is what he'll go into after he finished school. Things like his resume, and he's interested in going to UWS where he's keen to study to be a physiotherapist," Ms Solomon said.

Congratulations Tyrell - you're a fantastic ambassador for the Eels and the rugby league community!
Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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