Speaking via video link to school children from Aboriginal communities in Walgett, Gilgandra and several other towns, Turner promoted the idea of healthy living – namely dental hygiene – through the short story ‘Gaarrala Kylegu’ or ‘Brush with Kyle’. The initiative – part of the Rugby League Reads program – involved a reading in the Gamilaraay language as well as a Q&A between Turner and the children that addressed issues such as healthy living, goal-setting and, of course, what it’s like to play with Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis. Speaking to NRL.com after the event, the proud Coonabarabran junior explained what it meant to interact with the Indigenous kids. “Heritage and culture are very special to me, especially coming from the country and being a proud Gamilaraay boy. To be a part of this and to be given the opportunity to influence the younger generation on how to be healthy is special to me,” Turner said. “I remember when I was younger – I think I would have been about 12 or 13 years old – I had David Peachey and Preston Campbell come to our school. “Other than being starstruck by having NRL players there, they really talked to us about being proud Indigenous people and what it means to represent the people. “Ever since that moment, I wanted to be a part of that. Being a part of this book, I feel like I am a part of that now and it means a lot to me.”Turner’s message to kids extended beyond the over-arching concept of personal hygiene, with the 24-year-old encouraging the students to pick up a footy and play rugby league. With rule changes set to revolutionise the way junior rugby league is played, there has never been a better time for kids to start playing the game. And as Turner revealed, it’s never too late to kick-start one’s career. Sometimes all it takes is a few words of wisdom from an NRL star or two. “My footy career all started from that moment. I wasn’t playing rugby league before those guys came to our school but their visit got me into it. If I’ve inspired some of these kids to play, then that’s what my job is to do,” he said. “I played with the Coonabarabran Unicorns. We didn’t have the most intimidating team name. At first I just wanted to play to be with my mates and then obviously it got more serious as I got older.”Our coach took it very seriously but we just loved being around each other. Obviously it got more competitive the older you got, but when we were still kids it was all about having fun.”I started off as a hooker and then transitioned to centre and eventually finished up in the back row. “The least amount of travel you had to do was about an hour-and-a-half away or roughly 100kms. We’d travel as far as Nyngan which was about three hours away. It was a lot of travel but I don’t regret it for a moment.”We all travelled to our games on the bus and it was all fun and games. Everyone just enjoyed their time together on those trips and that’s what footy’s all about.”
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Valley residents are urged by the city of Los Angeles to recycle their Christmas trees at one of several local drop-off sites. “The results are the conservation of limited landfill space and the recycling of green renewable resources,” said Cynthia Ruiz, president of the Board of Public Works. “Mayor (Antonio) Villaraigosa and the city are very appreciative that every year, more members of the public take responsibility to recycle their trees and take a pro-active role in making Los Angeles cleaner, greener and safer.” Residents with city-issued green yard-trimming bins can cut up their trees and place them in the bins for pickup by the Bureau of Sanitation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonMultifamily and apartment residents without the green bins are urged to use one of the drop-off sites between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Jan. 5 and 6. Excess holiday wrapping paper and packaging materials will also be accepted, said Enrique Zaldivar, director of the Bureau of Sanitation. Last year, about 80,000 Christmas trees were recycled in Los Angeles. — Branford Park, 13300 Branford St., Arleta; — Fire Station No. 21, 1187 E. 52nd St., Avalon; — Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, 5001 Rodeo Road, Baldwin Hills; — Hollenbeck Recreation Center, 415 S. St. Louis St., Boyle Heights; — Fire Station No. 106, 23004 Roscoe Blvd., Canoga Park; — Fire Station No. 44, 1410 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park; — Chatsworth Park South, 22360 Devonshire St., Chatsworth; — Fire Station No. 94, 4470 Coliseum St., Crenshaw District; — Balboa Sports Center, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Encino; — Fire Station No. 108, 12520 Mulholland Drive, Franklin Canyon; — Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, 25820 Vermont Ave., Harbor City; — Highland Park Senior Citizen Center, 6152 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; — Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; — Fire Station No. 82, 1800 N. Bronson, Hollywood; — Cheviot Hill Recreation Center, 2551 Motor Ave., Los Angeles; — Fire Station No. 29, 4029 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; — Fire Station No. 64, 118 W. 108th St., Los Angeles; — Fire Station No. 71, 107 S. Beverly Glen Blvd., Los Angeles; — Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles; — Westchester Municipal Building, 7166 Manchester Ave., Los Angeles; — Fire Station No. 28, 11641 Corbin Ave., Porter Ranch; — Fire Station No. 112, 444 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro; — Fire Station No. 88, 5101 Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks; — Sunland Recreation Center, 8651 Foothill Blvd., Sunland; — Fire Station No. 77, 9224 Sunland Blvd., Sun Valley; — Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave., Sylmar; — Fire Station No. 63, 1930 Shell Ave., Venice; and — Fire Station No. 65, 1801 E. Century Blvd., Watts.