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Knowledge is power, and knowing about yourself could be the most powerful element of education, according to rugby league legend Preston Campbell.

Preston was on hand at Currumbin Sanctuary for the final workshop for the term of the TitansDeadly Futures program – an experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students that covers Indigenous Timelines, Cultural Identity and Career Aspirations.

Delivered in partnership with the Preston Campbell Foundation, Titans Deadly Futures guides  students on a pathway to a greater understanding and sense of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

The students also discover more about their own identity to inspire them to choose a pathway to lead them to success but to also help them deal with setbacks and empower them to find their feet and continue on their journey. 

Preston said the journey of self-discovery was just as important as the learning of new skills that students would take into their future careers.

“Education is really important,” Preston said. “We go to school and become educated, but it is also about the education about yourself.

“Understanding about who you are, learning about who you are. What makes you tick – you and your family, you and your school, you and your sporting club, you and your workplace – wherever it is.

“Knowledge is something that is everywhere, and we have an opportunity to do it.

“The Deadly Futures program encourages people to go out to learn, not just about how to become a mechanic or how to get a job. It is about learning about themselves, and the broader community.”

Preston said the Deadly Futures Program’s methods of taking students out of the classroom to encourage interactive, hands-on learning – like that at the Currumbin Sanctuary workshop – was critical for reinforcing learning.

“Hands-on learning is so important,” he said. “It is one thing to give someone a ball and say ‘go play’. There has to be a reason around why it is important.

“Theory is very important, we read books and get a lot out of that. But I think we gain that much more when we get that physical experience, and have someone show us how it is done, and why it is done that way.”