New Zealand Warriors and Ferns champion, Honey Hireme and Canberra Raiders Grand Finalist, Sia Soliola have been crowned the inaugural Veronica White Medal and Ken Stephen Medal winners respectively.
Both Medals were awarded as part of NRL Grand Final celebrations in front of a packed ANZ Stadium and with millions watching at home and across the Tasman.
Both players demonstrated significant community engagement throughout the course of this year and were selected by a panel of judges from across the game.
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder congratulated Honey and Sia on their outstanding off-field achievements and paid tribute to all of the female and male nominees.
“These are two prestigious awards and it’s fitting that Honey and Sia are being celebrated on the biggest stage and at the biggest occasion in the rugby league calendar,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.
“Both players – and all of our nominees – undertake an enormous amount of work off the field each year, much of it unknown and behind-the-scenes, simply because they wish to make a positive and genuine impact amongst communities.”
“In the case of Honey – she has been an undisputed leader within her local rugby league community for a long time, encouraging young girls to play the game of rugby league and support one another in their every-day lives.
“For Sia, he’s been a pillar of strength for the Raiders this year – and even more so in helping those in need, from young children to those facing homelessness and at a disadvantage in life.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to the enormous generosity that thousands of players, coaches, referees, fans and volunteers in our game deliver to unite, excite and inspire communities on a daily basis.”
This is the first year we’ve awarded the Veronica White Medal and the 31st year of the Ken Stephen Medal.