Last week, when the Parramatta Eels clashed with the Brisbane Broncos on the field of ANZ Stadium for Round 21 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, the Eels hosted a private suite for 20 students from the School to Work program along with their parents, teachers and fellow staff members.

The NRL’s School to Work Program, which is proudly support by the Australian Government, was recognised on the international stage in 2016 for its success in providing increased opportunities, through Rugby League, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

To program aims at closing the gap between Indigenous and other Australians across key social indicators such as education, employment and health. The Eels assist the School to Work participants with work experience, mentoring and leadership opportunities to ensure they successfully complete school and transition into further study, training or meaningful employment.

The Eels, along with several other NRL clubs, have partnered with the NRL in support of the School to Work Program since its formation five years ago.

"Since 2012 the Parramatta Eels have been a proud partner of the NRL School To Work Program." Michael Basan, Strategic Partnerships Manager at the Parramatta Eels said.

"We are committed to providing meaningful employment and education pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth."

"My experience in the box at the Eels vs Broncos game was amazing. Not only because it was my first time in a box, but also because I was with my friends and others," said Ricky Newell, a School to Work student who attended the event on the night.

"The view, the service and the experience itself were all great. And being able to meet, have a chat and get a photo with Eels player Nathan Davis topped it off.

"I want to thank NRL School2Work and the Parramatta Eels for giving me and my friends the opportunity."

The students were joined by Blue & Gold player, Nathan Davis who mingled with the guests throughout the night.