Co-opting a shared approach with Pacific communities via an internship initiative and a sporting organization
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This article explores the perspectives of participants from a partnership established between Western Sydney University (WSU) and the National Rugby League (NRL), a large and multifaceted international sporting organization. Ten students from WSU's Pasifika Achievement to Higher Education (PATHE) initiative took part in an internship program with the NRL. This program sought to bolster Pacific cultural awareness, and consider how PATHE interns developed learning outcomes and experiences whilst interacting and encouraging positive relationships between the NRL and its community groups. Four NRL staff members who acted as the intern's supervisors also took part in this partnership. The implications of this research are three-fold - strong partnerships between universities and industry partners are vital for effective work-integrated learning; the development and upholding of Indigenous and Pacific platforms and spaces are important to increase cultural awareness; and to foster such developments, universities and industry partners need to demonstrate clear leadership.