“Scouting offers young people a great opportunity to connect with their environment, to gain
practical outdoor knowledge, to develop leadership skills and to crystallise lifelong friendships.”
As Director of Strategy and Special Projects for the National Rugby League (NRL), Shane Mattiske is responsible for Rugby League’s Strategic Plan. He works directly with CEO David Gallop in guiding the strategic direction for the NRL and was part of a team that made the decision to expand the NRL competition to 16 teams in 2007 by adding the Gold Coast Titans.
Shane is responsible for the NRL’s relationship with the Rugby League Players Association, particularly in negotiating their Collective Bargaining Agreement, and also manages the NRL’s new media rights which are mainly focused on internet and mobile phone technologies.
Growing up on a farm in the central west of NSW about half-way between West Wyalong and Forbes, Shane was a Lone Scout for two years. He originally attended to a Scout Group in Forbes once or twice but due to the distance of his farm from town, it was too difficult to join a regular Group. Shane had a friend who was a Lone Scout and he encouraged Shane and his brother to join.
Shane’s Lone Scout Leader lived in Canberra and they communicated by post. Every month Shane would receive a pack that set out tasks on which to focus and a cassette tape with some messages from the Leader. Shane would sit down and record a message back to his leader telling him how he was going with tasks and what he had generally been up to.
Scouting was a natural fit for Shane. “Being from a farm, I already had an interest in camping and the outdoors so I found being a Scout really attractive,” he said.
However, his Scouting experience wasn’t always spent on his own. He fondly remembers going to a big camp in Canberra to meet other Scouts from many different places where he had a great time camping, hiking and generally enjoying himself.
“I really enjoyed the challenge of learning new skills and gaining a deeper understanding of my environment. Being a Scout taught me discipline and focus and knowing you’re part of such a great organisation was motivating. I also valued the friendships I made when I was able to get together with other Scouts,” Shane said.
“Because I was a Lone Scout I also had to learn to be self-motivated and independent. By developing discipline and self-motivation, I was well placed to study and develop my career when I had to move to Sydney. Knowing how to identify goals and having the courage and strength to work towards them will always carry you forward in any chosen career.”