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Promising football career on hold to work for Red Cross

Lindsay Jarrett, 18, was enjoying a meteoric rise through the rugby league ranks when he took the difficult decision to take a year off his football career, and give back to the remote community where he grew up.

Lindsay - a proud Wadja man - is working for Red Cross in the central Queensland Woorabinda Aboriginal community, while he completes a 12-month qualification in community services.

This will allow him to work to overcome some of the disadvantages locals face; things like an unemployment rate of 70%; a shortage of housing, low education attainments and school attendance.

Lindsay says after a positive experience at a boarding school, he felt he really needed to help others score some goals, before he goes back to the footy field.

"I had a contract to play under 20s for the Brisbane Broncos, but I've postponed it to work for Red Cross in Woori in community development," he says.

Lindsay has already notched up some impressive achievements in life including playing for Queensland under 18s and touring New Zealand with the Queensland Academy of Sport.

"I thought I'd give it a break. You're under a lot of pressure when you're at your peak and footy isn't forever. When you retire it's good to have something to fall back on and I'm passionate about helping my community.

"I was lucky enough to have a great education. I went away to a good boarding school and I really want to steer kids onto the right path. One day we youth are going to be running Woori and I want to encourage young people to get a good education and to make this a better place."

Woorabinda is a remote Aboriginal community of about 1000 people, 170 km south west of the central Queensland city of Rockhampton. Established in 1927, there are about 52 clans represented locally, with a vast number of language groups from throughout Queensland.

Red Cross has been in Woorabinda for 10 years, working with youth, families, women and people caught up in the justice system. Red Cross employs 16 people locally - 15 of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Red Cross is committed to building long-term and respectful partnerships by working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations to determine and lead their own solutions.

To achieve this, our workforce must represent the diversity of the communities that we work in and so we are building our capabilities through meaningful and rewarding employment and volunteer opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

"I love what Red Cross does in the community. It has the global and national elements, and I love that they help everyone and anyone. They're independent," Lindsay says.

"I enjoy the work I do. I'm really passionate about giving back to the community.

"I love it being here, being home and helping out."

As for the future, Lindsay's goals are to complete his community services qualification, then to have a shot at playing for the NRL.

And once his football days are over he'll have a wealth of experience and qualification to continue to work alongside his people.

For more on Red Cross' commitment to working with the Woorabinda community see our recently-launched five-year plan.

Together as partners

Together as partners

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply for all our positions. Find out more about ourĀ volunteering opportunities and career opportunities.