When proud Kalkadoon woman Melissa Wilde began her rugby league journey, little did she know she would end up falling in love with coaching.
Born and raised in Mount Isa where her connection to country is strongest, Wilde first became involved with the game as a parent, wanting to get her son involved in the sport, like most others do.
Short of volunteers, her Brothers Junior Rugby League club were needing coaches, so the community leader put her hand up to help out the club.
Fast-forward three years and Wilde is still thriving in charge of teams today, fulfilled in seeing the continued improvement of her young players as they progress.
Her ability to really connect with the club's mission to engage with Indigenous youth and create positive change in the community has enhanced her experience with coaching, making it one of the most rewarding things to get from the game.
As Queensland Rugby League and the greater nation celebrate NAIDOC week, Wilde believed was a chance to recognise the contribution Indigenous people have made and continue to make to Australia.
"NAIDOC week is a celebration for all Australians to look at us and all the great things we have given, offer and contribute to the country - past and present," Wilde said.
"It is a celebration of recognition of us as a people."
Inspired by Maroons great Johnathon Thurston for his tenacity to follow his dreams, Wilde was hoping to instil his beliefs and mantra in her community's youth.
"Find what calls out for you and is your passion and chase it with both hands," Wilde said.
"Don’t let those on the sidelines of your life distract you.
"Go at it with everything you've got... you are allowed to be the best."
As a strong Indigenous leader within her community, rugby league in Mount Isa can't thank Wiled enough for her effort, dedication and contribution to make a difference.
This NAIDOC week, QRL.com.au is showcasing some of the great Indigenous participants who make a difference to rugby league in Queensland.
Read more about the QRL Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) here.