First PNG woman to sign with NRL team

She is the first Papua New Guinean to sign on with the Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s team.

Born in Mt Hagen, 23-year-old Amelia Kuk becomes the first participant of the Oil Search player pathway program.

Kuk represented the Oil Search PNG Orchids in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Her father, who is in the mining sector, was transferred to Brisbane, Australia, in 2008.

Kuk was in Grade Eight when they opted to settle there.

With a background in volleyball, Kuk made the transition to rugby after coming across a University of Queensland women’s team in training.

“I started off with rugby union and eventually switched to rugby league in 2016,” she said.

“I’m very excited to officially say that I have signed with the Brisbane Broncos.

“My life is a testimony of how far I’ve worked and how hard I’ve worked to break all the barriers between the male and female comparison stuff because I come from Mt Hagen where they look up to all the males there and when you’re a female, especially coming from the Highlands, you’re looked down on.

“I think that was my motivation behind changing all their mindset and mentality. I’ve found footy and footy was able to give me that opportunity to do that.”

For the upcoming, passionate rugby league players, Kuk says you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

And with the recent signing between the Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s team and the Oil Search PNG orchids, outstanding players will get the chance to play in the NRL.

The player pathway will be supported by Oil Search Limited and the Oil Search Foundation, alongside its initiatives to champion women’s rights and empowerment throughout PNG.

(Amelia Kuk)

Carmella Gware