The Cronulla Sharks have signed a memorandum of understanding between the club and the Sydney Wantok Association.
The Sharks-Wantok was formalised last week as the NRL club continue to develop their pacific engagement strategy.
Sydney Wantok president Steven Gagau and the Honourable Consul General of Papua New Guinea to Australia, Sumasy Singin, were appointed as ambassadors for the partnership.
One of the key provisions of the agreement involves the club’s community engagement in PNG through their Sharks Have Heart foundation. The club said this would include, but not be limited to, initiatives related to Kokoda and professional pathways in the form of internships for Papua New Guinean and Melanesian people who are Wantok members.
Head of strategy and growth at the Sharks, Jonathan Prosser, signed the agreement alongside Cronulla’s interim CEO Paul Eriksson. Prosser said the club believed the relationship would help the Sharks become the “club of choice” in the pacific.
“This is potentially a world-first in professional sport. NRL clubs do not normally have diplomats supporting their relations and club development projects,” he said.
“However, this MOU sees the Sharks demonstrating true leadership in both community and government relations and is a reason behind the considerable growth in support and recognition we have received for our genuine efforts to create a home away from home for pacific communities.”