Territory teacher wins top NRL honour

Northern Territory teacher David Graham has been awarded the National Teacher of the Year award on Friday night at the 2015 NRL Community and Player Education Awards.

Graham was honoured alongside community heroes, NRL and NYC players for their tireless work in Australian communities at the NRL’s annual awards night, held at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park. 

The National Teacher of the Year, presented by ACCOR Hotels, is designed to recognise extraordinary contributions made by a teacher who has championed Rugby League within their school and community and integrated league related teaching material into their program, making it a fitting honour for Palmerston’s David Graham.

As a music teacher at MacKillop Catholic College in the Northern Territory, 27-year-old David has transformed his school’s community using Rugby League as a platform for positive change.

As the founder of the MacKillop Sharks Rugby League Club, David has streamlined school and club teams to work in partnership so that students have every opportunity possible to play the game. 

Through his promotion of the NRL’s ‘Beyond the Goalpost Program’, countless students have had the opportunity to referee at Gala Days and at Northern Territory club games on the weekend. Three MacKillop College students were selected to referee at the recent Under 11s Laurie Spina Shield event in Townsville as a part of this program.

Eels second-rower David Gower, who was named in the Academic Team of the Year, Acting CEO John Boulous, and the Blue and Gold Community and Development team were all on hand to help David celebrate the award - click through to see the Eels players named in both the NRL and NYC Academic Teams of the Year

As part of their four-year partnership with the Northern Territory Government, the Blue and Gold can’t wait to continue working with local schools, rugby league clubs, and inspirational educators like David Graham to continue growing the game and encouraging community outcomes!

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