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QRL Employee Conference: Escape, experience, connect

Queensland Rugby League brought its 100 employees from across the state together for the annual QRL Employee Conference at the Gold Coast.

The conference saw everyone from QRL head office, QRL North, QRL Central and QRL South East come together to learn from peers and hear from legends of the game discussing their different journeys and experiences in rugby league, strategise for the future and celebrate 2023 wins.

Queensland Rugby League people, capability and safety general manager Gemma Davidson said the conference enabled employees to escape to the Gold Coast hinterland, experience different things and connect.

“To be able to bring together our 100-strong workforce for three days to learn, grow and connect is something very special," Davidson said.

"Hearing from greats - past and present - in the game and celebrating the talent within our own teams led to an outstanding conference and great end to 2023 and kickstart into 2024."  

Employees heard about the rugby league experience and journeys of Tweed Seagulls chief executive officer Brendon Lindsay, former Queensland Maroons star Darius Boyd, Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett and QRL pathways and performance head coach Nathan Cross.

Panels included women's rugby league hall of famers Veronica White and Jo Barrett, Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons star Evania Pelite, NRL match official Belinda Sharpe, Gold Coast Titans wellbeing officer Carmen Taplin, representatives from the White Cloud Foundation and QRL North wellbeing and education manager McQuilty Quirke.

QRL community rugby league general manager Adam Vanzanten facilitated an activity where teams explored different scenarios faced by volunteers in community rugby league every day.

And QRL match officials manager Clayton Sharpe facilitated a session where people had to complete questions whilst physically fatigued to mimic the role of a match official during a rugby league game.

The conference then culminated in the 2023 Australiana-themed awards night recognising stand-out performers; nominees were subject to a panel of peer judges before the senior leadership team picked the final winners. 

Each award winner was recognised with a trophy and voucher, in addition to nominating a charity important to them to donate $250 towards in 2024.

QRL award winners

Best new talent - 'On field'

Brisbane league and club coordinator Josh Vlcek

Best new talent - 'In the sheds'

QRL receptionist Charlotte Landers

Hall of Fame - 'On the field'

Brisbane area manager Mitch Kent

Hall of Fame - 'In the sheds'

State infrastructure and grants manager Scott Nosworthy

Coach of the Year

QRL South East region manager Scott Dunshea

Scrum of champions

Creative services team, led by senior creative services manager Callan Jones

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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