Building Resilience: Festival of Indigenous Rugby League 2018

The Australian Government will partner with the National Rugby League (NRL) to promote mental health awareness and support services as part of the 2018 Festival of Indigenous Rugby League.

Page last updated: 23 November 2017

PDF printable version of Building Resilience: Festival of Indigenous Rugby League 2018 (PDF 230 KB)

Joint Media Release


The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health


23 November 2017

The Turnbull Government will partner with the National Rugby League (NRL) to promote mental health awareness and support services as part of the 2018 Festival of Indigenous Rugby League.

Today’s announcement is the beginning of a new focus on improving mental wellbeing in Indigenous communities, especially among young people

The Turnbull Government is providing $300,000 to the NRL to support a number of activities including the delivery of targeted mental health workshops for rugby league players, as well as to participants in the Indigenous Youth Leadership Summit, which will run during the February 2018 Festival of Indigenous Rugby League.

Many people – across all walks of life – struggle to cope, due to mental health challenges.

People in our community want the right tools and information to live active and healthy lives and the workshops put together by the NRL will benefit thousands of Indigenous men and women playing at the festival as well as participants attending the Indigenous Youth Leadership Summit.

The workshops will focus on practical tools for good mental health, building resilience and making positive choices.

The priorities of the Government’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–2023 recognise that sport can play an important role in strengthening people’s self-esteem and sense of dignity.

We know that sport has many benefits because it connects people to the grass roots of their community and regular exercise with others improves social and emotional wellbeing.

The Government congratulates the NRL on the development of its State of Mind programs that focus on early intervention and reducing the unwarranted stigma of mental illness.

Festival participants are expected to come from New South Wales and Queensland, including the Torres Strait.

For more information about the NRL’s State of Mind programs visit the State of Mind website.

For more information about the Australian Government’s mental health and preventative health agenda visit the Department of Health's website.

Media contacts:
Minister Hunt - John O’Doherty 0402 047 852
Minister Wyatt - Nick Way 0419 835 449
Top of Page