Daine Laurie celebrates after scoring a try for the Penrith Panthers jersey flegg side during the preliminary final earlier this season.
Daine Laurie celebrates after scoring a try for the Penrith Panthers jersey flegg side during the preliminary final earlier this season.

Iluka footballer kicking goals off the field

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rising star Daine Laurie may be making waves on the pitch, but it is his work off it which has led to him being shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The former Lower Clarence Magpies junior has reached the semi-finals of the TransGrid Indigenous Achievement Award, part of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards.

The award recognises young indigenous people using their own stories and life experiences to give back to their communities and highlights their work as dedicated and passionate people making a difference.

In his nomination Laurie said beyond becoming an elite footballer with the Panthers, he wanted to support his family and become a role model not just within his family but within the wider community.

He wanted to show other young people they too could succeed if they followed their dreams.

Laurie made clear he didn’t want to change who he was — “a strong Aboriginal man” who was succeeding in doing what he set out to achieve.

“I am just waiting for the day in which I run on the football field for the Penrith Panthers and my family cheering for me,” he said.

“I have followed my dream. It has moulded me into a strong, independent young man. It has given me opportunities, better education and aspirations in life.”

Laurie is clearly leading by example, visiting NSW prisons, delivering success stories, taking kids on Panthers Academy tours and distributing meals for the homeless in Penrith, all voluntarily.

In an indication of the young footballer’s caring nature, he travelled back to Iluka out of concern for his family who evacuated due to the bushfire emergency.

Laurie also clearly has an ability to gain respect from his peers, being voted players’ player for the under-20s at the Panthers.

The finalists will be announced on December 11, with the winners in each category receiving a trophy and $2000 worth of prizes.

One of the category winners will then be named the NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year.