Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) hosted former professional rugby league players from the North Queensland Cowboys, Gavin Cooper and Michael Morgan, from July 16th to July 19th, 2023.

Their visit marks an exciting partnership between OTML and the North Queensland Cowboys as part of strengthening the company’s commitment to the local communities.

Mr. Gavin Cooper and Mr. Michael Morgan are former North Queensland Cowboys players who played pivotal roles in the team’s historic grand final victory in the 2015 Australian National Rugby League Premiership. They have both represented Queensland multiple times in the annual State of Origin clash and represented Australia in the various representative’s squads such as the Prime Ministers XIII and Kangaroos.

Mr. Cooper is currently Head of Commercial Partnerships at North Queensland Cowboys and Mr. Morgan is the Cowboys Ambassador and Business Development Manager at Corpay.

Their visit to Tabubil is a testament to the Cowboys’ dedication to engaging with communities and making a positive impact beyond the field.

The North Queensland Cowboys Rugby League Club, a community-owned professional rugby league club based in Townsville, boasts one of the largest footprints in the NRL. And OTML is honoured to welcome them to our region and provide our communities with a unique opportunity to interact with both accomplished athletes.

Mr. Cooper and Mr. Morgan visited several schools in the area, including Finalbin, Wangbin, Migalsim, Sisimakam Primary Schools, Tabubil Secondary, and Tabubil International School. They conducted rugby league clinics, emphasized the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, and provided an insightful look into the lives of professional rugby league players.

In addition to the school visits, they visited the Mine Operations, Tabubil Hospital, and spoke to OTML trainees under the Graduate Development Scheme, Preferred Area Development, and Apprenticeship Programs.

The interactions aim to inspire the local communities and foster a sense of unity and support.

“There’s a lot of life lessons in rugby league, it taught me all the things about the messages that were delivered to the schools and communities and it’s all about being healthy, looking after yourself, respecting yourself and others, getting your sleep right, turning up on time, and respecting your elders. While my parents taught me that, rugby league really taught me that,” said Mr. Cooper.

“I am very humbled that we have been able to be up here. The community has welcomed us with open arms and it’s been a great time. I hope all the messaging we did try to get across on behalf of OTML was well received,” said Mr. Cooper.

OTML Board Chairman, Jeffrey Innes, was instrumental in re-linking the partnership with the Cowboys after an initial visit by the Cowboys in 2013. He said the partnership would continue into the future as long as he is Chairman and OTML’s operations continue.

“The longevity of the mine is paramount to the future of our children in towns and communities down the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) corridor. These are the children that become the professionals, apprentices and operators, and if we can give them something to cheer and aspire too, then I am one hundred percent behind it,” said Mr. Innes.

This strategic partnership with the North Queensland Cowboys is one of many initiatives that OTML embarks on to deliver their commitment to the communities.