Rod Jensen

Just because you are born in a small town in an almost remote area does not mean that you cannot achieve great things and Rod Jensen is proof of that.

Rod, who played in the National Rugby League for Canberra Raiders and North Queensland Cowboys, and now with the Northern Pride in Cairns, was born in Atherton and grew up in Ravenshoe, Far North Queensland. He left Ravenshoe to attend school in Cairns at the age of fourteen.

Rod is a father of two with another on the way later in 2012. He is both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, but grew up more with the influence of the Djirubal Aboriginal group in Ravenshoe, Atherton Tablelands.

While attending school in Cairns, Rod found and gained a new life and direction.

As a student at St Augustine's College, he learnt great leadership skills and was exposed to many sporting opportunities.

After leaving school, his sporting career started with the Adelaide Rams in 1998, then with the Canberra Raiders in 1999 for four years, before signing with the North Queensland Cowboys in 2004.

In 2007, Rod then joined the Super League in England upon returning to Australia at the end of 2008 he represented his countrymen through selection in the Indigenous Dream Team world cup side and in 2009 was recruited to the Northern Pride team (Queensland Rugby League).

During his sporting career he knew that there would have to be life after football.

"I like working with children and helping students before they get into trouble," Rod said.

In 2005 Rod completed his degree in teaching and did a number of years as a teacher and lecturer at both schools and James Cook University.

"My mentors include Lionel Williamson who was the Boarding Master at St Augustine's College in Cairns, and when I was with the Canberra Raiders, both Ruben Wiki and Mel Meninga."

Rod's advice to youngsters is simple yet powerful.

"Listening is the key, my advice is that you can do things your own way, but there is importance in the advice of your Elders.

"We are resilient because we are a surviving bloodline, so look inside and persevere; without struggle there is no progress."