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More than 250 indigenous students in years 10 to 12 from the Hunter region attended the second annual education event, ‘Deadly Skills – It’s Your Future, Claim It’ at Hunter TAFE's Kurri Kurri campus today.

The annual education event is collaboration between Hunter TAFE, the Aboriginal Learning Circle (Hunter) and the Newcastle Knights as a way to empower Indigenous young people to pursue education as part of their future.

Deadly Skills - It's your future Claim it, was launched in 2015 to coincide with the NRL Indigenous Round and was established to promote education, connection to culture and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across the Hunter.

Newcastle Knights Dane Gagai, Jaelen Feeney and Robbie Rochow were part of a panel that addressed students during the workshop. 

"It was a good workshop and we've seen a lot of young faces. Hopefully they've taken alot from it," Gagai said. 

"Being able to be a part of this and share my story as well as all the people on the panel sharing their stories, hopefully it's motivated some of the students out there and they can go on to live their dreams and achieve their goals."

Newcastle Knights CEO, Matt Gidley, said that this type of partnership was a critical to the Knights' commitment to supporting the NRL’s “Game Plan” strategy as well as the Club's promise to respectful recognition of Aboriginal culture as part of our wider community.

“While the Indigenous Round is an important event in our annual calendar, for the Knights recognition is much more about a longer term approach of the entire Club and our stakeholders. Working with TAFE and the Learning Circle provides us with a holistic approach to achieving a better understanding of Aboriginal culture while engaging young indigenous people into important educational and sporting pathways," Mr Gidley said.

Hunter TAFE Deputy CEO, Marie Larkings, welcomed the project as part of the Institute's ongoing commitment to recognition, respect and empowering Aboriginal and Indigenous people to engage with education for their future.

'This partnership aims to provide young people with better ways to connect with education. There are so many options for young people and our job is to make it easier for them and we hope through this collaboration with the Knights’ and the Aboriginal Learning Circle we can engage young people and empower them to pursue their dreams," Ms Larkings said.

The launch included a Q&A discussion with Knights NRL players, NRL Ambassador George Rose, past and present Indigenous Women’s All Stars Players and Australian Jillaroos representatives Emma and Julie Young, and Aboriginal artist Saretta Fielding.

Two students from each participating High School performed alongside Wakagetti Dance Troupe and Knights NRL players in a traditional dance at the event. The Wakagetti Dance Troupe choreographed the dance especially for the event.