This week the NRL hosted the inaugural Close the Gap Forum, where six guest speakers spoke about issues facing the Indigenous community and how the rugby league community is involved.


Hosted by Welfare and Education Manager and former Parramatta Eels player, Dean Widders, the speakers covered a range of topics about key issues.


"I thought it was a great success; we talked about educating people, giving people insight and inspiring people, and I thought today was really great for that," Widders said.


"The presenters gave us some great stories, and some insight into closing the gap with indigenous Australia."


The NRL is proud to be at the forefront of engaging with and supporting the Indigenous community for our teams, and Widders says it will continue for years to come.


"Rugby league is the most important game in indigenous communities, and one of the biggest ways we can create positive change," he said.


"Our players are heroes and role models in the indigenous community, and if we can continue to send positive messages about the game and what difference it can make in our communities, there's always hope for Aboriginal people in the future."


Speaking about Parramatta Eels' initiatives with the Indigenous community, including our deal with the Northern Territory government, Dean says it's an exciting venture ahead.


"They love the game in Darwin, the young indigenous kids will love seeing the Eels there, and it's a great opportunity for the NRL players to see a different culture," he said.


"A lot come from Sydney and [Pacific Islands] as well, so it's great for them to go up there and see a different culture."


Click here to find out more about the Close the Gap initiative.