How Russell Packer turned from inmate to university graduate

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willow
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How Russell Packer turned from inmate to university graduate

Unread post by willow » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 9:41 pm

How Russell Packer turned from inmate to university graduate

LAST WEEK Dragons forward Russell Packer — and soon-to-be Tiger — slipped on a graduation gown and mortarboard felt cap. Two years ago, he was wearing prison greens.

THIS story has nothing to do with the NRL finals. It’s not about the Electric Eels or the wide-eyed Penny Panthers, but a Cinderella story in September, all the same. Last Wednesday, St George Illawarra forward — and soon-to-be Tiger — Russell Packer, slipped on a graduation gown and mortarboard felt cap. Two years ago, he was wearing prison greens. With his partner Lara in tears and much-loved five-year-old son Marley and seven year-old daughter Madison staring up at their 115kg father, Packer accepted his graduate certificate in business at the University of Wollongong. Packer achieved the results in the same dominant fashion he displayed in the front-row for Saints this year, graduating from his two subjects, accounting and financial management and operations managements, with high distinction.

Which, given that his outstanding academic level of intelligence was recognised just four months ago by being included on the Dean’s Merit List — awarded to the top five per cent of students within the faculty — it should come as no great surprise. However, how this story will widen your eyes, is just how Packer, who spent 12-months in jail for a violent alcohol-fuelled assault in 2013, achieved what very few of the many thousand’s of rugby league players ever would, or could. Equally, who he stood smiling in his gown on Wednesday for? And why now, he has aspirations to work alongside the game’s leader and decision-makers at the NRL. “I’d love to do an internship at the NRL before I retire. The NRL is such a big business, I’d definitely be open to any opportunity like that,’’ Packer said. “Just to get the work experience and see things from a different perspective as well. “I’ve also got plans to do an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of NSW before I retire.’’ When Packer walked out of prison, he never envisioned that his desire to change the course of his life and that of his family, would include uni assignments at 6am before training, or pouring through text on every of the Dragons away-trip flights over the past two seasons. “The boys would call me a nerd with my reading glasses on and my laptop out, but it’s not how you look, it’s what’s going on inside your brain,’’ Packer said.

“The thing is, the biggest wake-up call I got was when I did get out of jail was I thought; ‘I’m going to have to go and apply for a job.’ “I went to write a CV and I couldn’t write anything apart from, playing NRL. “I didn’t have any qualifications. I just played footy. “I didn’t grow-up in a conventional upbringing. I’ve said before, I was 12 when I first started drinking 12 to 18 beers. “So, footy were my skills from the age of 18 to 23, I then went away (to jail) for a year and got out and I had nothing, except skills in league. “Which, means a lot while you’re playing NRL, but I couldn’t get a job as a butcher’s assistant by saying ‘oh, by the way I’ve got skills in passing the football.’’ “For the majority of people playing in the NRL, that is the reality of it. “Because NRL stops eventually. “I kind of know what it’s like to retire — having spent two years out of the game, not getting paid and doing other things. “Graduating, it’s a silver lining for everything I went through. “I have something to be able to transition into a different career, which is going to last a lot longer than my football career.’’

Like this story, the keyboard warriors will publicly deface anything Packer attempts for the rest of his life. The game, they hammer into the comment box of forums, doesn’t need a person who spent a year in prison in 2014. And who cares, if for the 12-months after being released Packer, who has sworn off alcohol, needed to re-establish not only his footy career, but his relationship with Lara and his children?
But if the game, including other players, administration, coaches and welfare staff can’t learn from Packer’s story, than who? “Time is the only thing that allows you to change,’’ Packer said. “For example, you can’t just come out of prison and expect life is back to normal. “From the ground-up, I’ve managed to rebuild my career as a football player, but more importantly I’ve rebuilt my life with my family. “We’ve really grown as a family and with the Dragons, I’ve grown as a man. “I lost everything, but the things I missed wasn’t anything material it was being there to help my kids have a shower, or dressed after swimming or taking them to school. “And they are the big reasons why I don’t drink alcohol, I try to live my live the cleanest way possible because I would never want to be in a position where I jeopardise those things ever again in my life.

“My two kids and my partner are my driving force. They’re kids who lost their dad for a year because of a choice that I made. “And that’s why I endeavour to pay them back through this hard work to achieve these results. “I want to show them that it’s possible for someone to do the wrong thing and still with commitment and passion, come out and correct there lives and use education as a tool.’’
NRL boss Todd Greenberg told The Saturday Telegraph: “Rugby league has always been about giving people a second chance and Russell has grabbed his with both hands,’’ NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“His commitment to making a success of his life on and off the field is an inspiration to everyone in the game.’’ Which is the same reason why Packer wanted his story told. “Hopefully, some of the boys that are playing NRL, who are thinking that maybe they don’t have the time, read this and just have a crack,’’ Packer said. “It wasn’t easy, but I did it.’’

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/ ... 37c91d3efb


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Unread post by TigersBusDriver » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 9:55 pm

Wonderful story

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Unread post by wt00 » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 9:57 pm

Great story, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching Russell in the Tigers colours.
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Unread post by Yossarian » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 9:57 pm

Regardless of him coming to the Tigers it's a positive story of a bloke getting a second chance and taking it.

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Unread post by stryker » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 10:16 pm

Not one mention or concern for the bloke he stomped out, all about the effects on him. Total scum.


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Unread post by Enmoretiger » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 11:11 am

Looks like he has turned his life around, unless you have been through the same; it is difficult to understand how difficult that would be. If Russell is such a changed man, he will live with what he did previously for the rest of his life

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Unread post by GNR4LIFE » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 11:52 am

Credit to him for turning his life around when many in his position don't. Would have been easy for him to continue being a thug, but the time he served obviously knocked some sense into him, which is one of the purposes of incarceration. Probably the player I'm most looking forward to seeing in our jersey next year.

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Unread post by Mccarry » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:03 pm

stryker wrote:
Fri 15 Sep, 2017 10:16 pm
Not one mention or concern for the bloke he stomped out, all about the effects on him. Total scum.
Stryker, alcohol is a plague on society. Him being exposed to it at 12 years old is child abuse. From that point on the development of his character and decision making was highly likely to be impaired.

Yes what he did is wrong.

People like you love to dish out the word scum. It makes you feel good. You see the vision of his savage and horrible attack and subconsciously you reason "I would never do that, I am much better than that"

You then judge him and determine that the line between good and bad people is drawn right down the middle of you and Russell.

A friend of mine, Michael teaches primary school kids. One lesson Michael asked the kids to make a list of good and bad actions. They made a list of lying, stealing, fighting with brother or sister, caring for others, charity work, listening to parents, hugging someone who is sad, Murder etc

Michael then asked them to put the list in order from most good the worst bad. The children arranged the list across the classroom floor debating as they went.

Michael then instructed them to go and stand on the list on the point where they would call someone 'good'. The kids ran to their spot, arranged roughly along the line favouring the middle section.

The last instruction was for each kid to now move to where they measure themselves.

No-one moved.

Michael explained to me that he has done the exercise dozens of times. Each child defines societies divide between good and bad people by the spot on the line where they are considered good.

Stryker you may not stomp on someone's head but I guarantee you love eating out dispite knowing you could save a starving Sirian refuge with the money. If you stood in a room with the mother of that Sirian child I guarantee she would look at you as far more evil than a reformed Packer.

Packer has faced his own evil. He has taken responsibility for his choice and committed to being a better version of himself.

I friend of mine met him this year. One who now barely writes on here because of all the negativity. He said, "you could barely imagine a nicer bloke". Packer gave him loads of time, took an interest in him and represented himself very well.

I am glad he is now a Tiger. Welcome to the Tiges Russell. I respect what you have done with your life since recovering.

Love the distinctions in your results.

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Unread post by Tigers17 » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:56 pm

Mccarry wrote:
Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:03 pm
stryker wrote:
Fri 15 Sep, 2017 10:16 pm
Not one mention or concern for the bloke he stomped out, all about the effects on him. Total scum.
Stryker, alcohol is a plague on society. Him being exposed to it at 12 years old is child abuse. From that point on the development of his character and decision making was highly likely to be impaired.

Yes what he did is wrong.

People like you love to dish out the word scum. It makes you feel good. You see the vision of his savage and horrible attack and subconsciously you reason "I would never do that, I am much better than that"

You then judge him and determine that the line between good and bad people is drawn right down the middle of you and Russell.

A friend of mine, Michael teaches primary school kids. One lesson Michael asked the kids to make a list of good and bad actions. They made a list of lying, stealing, fighting with brother or sister, caring for others, charity work, listening to parents, hugging someone who is sad, Murder etc

Michael then asked them to put the list in order from most good the worst bad. The children arranged the list across the classroom floor debating as they went.

Michael then instructed them to go and stand on the list on the point where they would call someone 'good'. The kids ran to their spot, arranged roughly along the line favouring the middle section.

The last instruction was for each kid to now move to where they measure themselves.

No-one moved.

Michael explained to me that he has done the exercise dozens of times. Each child defines societies divide between good and bad people by the spot on the line where they are considered good.

Stryker you may not stomp on someone's head but I guarantee you love eating out dispite knowing you could save a starving Sirian refuge with the money. If you stood in a room with the mother of that Sirian child I guarantee she would look at you as far more evil than a reformed Packer.

Packer has faced his own evil. He has taken responsibility for his choice and committed to being a better version of himself.

I friend of mine met him this year. One who now barely writes on here because of all the negativity. He said, "you could barely imagine a nicer bloke". Packer gave him loads of time, took an interest in him and represented himself very well.

I am glad he is now a Tiger. Welcome to the Tiges Russell. I respect what you have done with your life since recovering.

Love the distinctions in your results.
Brilliant. Please contribute more often.

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Unread post by 851 » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 2:09 pm

I hope he adds a premiership to his cv real soon.
Also I have worked in a maximum security gaol, and you meet inmates who are in there for one moment of madness in an other wise normal life. It really makes you think how a normal bloke wakes up one morning, as he has done all his life, and next morning wakes up in custody. Some of these blokes don't understsnd what happened, some do but can't explain it. The majority of the inmates will reoffend, but hopefully Russell is in the minority who admit guilt do the time and improve their life.
Last edited by 851 on Sat 16 Sep, 2017 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by tig_prmz » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 2:28 pm

im against any sort of violence (much like anyone else here), whether it be in a pub, on the street or domestic.

i honestly appreciate that he has turned his life around, it's a great story and he still has a long way to go.

all that being said, im with stryker. a scum move and something i'll never forget. legally, he's a free man.

at 12 years of age when exposed to alcohol, from that point until now he had plenty of opportunities to say no. he even had coaches like wayne bennet (iirc at knights) who would've reached out. i understand everyone's POV that it's a wonderful story, but his victim and family wouldn't.
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Unread post by InBenjiWeTrust » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 3:06 pm

quite a few PC SJWs virtue signalling on this forum :bawling

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Unread post by Russell » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 3:07 pm

Tigers17 wrote:
Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:56 pm
Mccarry wrote:
Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:03 pm
stryker wrote:
Fri 15 Sep, 2017 10:16 pm
Not one mention or concern for the bloke he stomped out, all about the effects on him. Total scum.
Stryker, alcohol is a plague on society. Him being exposed to it at 12 years old is child abuse. From that point on the development of his character and decision making was highly likely to be impaired.

Yes what he did is wrong.

People like you love to dish out the word scum. It makes you feel good. You see the vision of his savage and horrible attack and subconsciously you reason "I would never do that, I am much better than that"

You then judge him and determine that the line between good and bad people is drawn right down the middle of you and Russell.

A friend of mine, Michael teaches primary school kids. One lesson Michael asked the kids to make a list of good and bad actions. They made a list of lying, stealing, fighting with brother or sister, caring for others, charity work, listening to parents, hugging someone who is sad, Murder etc

Michael then asked them to put the list in order from most good the worst bad. The children arranged the list across the classroom floor debating as they went.

Michael then instructed them to go and stand on the list on the point where they would call someone 'good'. The kids ran to their spot, arranged roughly along the line favouring the middle section.

The last instruction was for each kid to now move to where they measure themselves.

No-one moved.

Michael explained to me that he has done the exercise dozens of times. Each child defines societies divide between good and bad people by the spot on the line where they are considered good.

Stryker you may not stomp on someone's head but I guarantee you love eating out dispite knowing you could save a starving Sirian refuge with the money. If you stood in a room with the mother of that Sirian child I guarantee she would look at you as far more evil than a reformed Packer.

Packer has faced his own evil. He has taken responsibility for his choice and committed to being a better version of himself.

I friend of mine met him this year. One who now barely writes on here because of all the negativity. He said, "you could barely imagine a nicer bloke". Packer gave him loads of time, took an interest in him and represented himself very well.

I am glad he is now a Tiger. Welcome to the Tiges Russell. I respect what you have done with your life since recovering.

Love the distinctions in your results.
Brilliant. Please contribute more often.
X2

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Unread post by macca84 » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 3:33 pm

I'm still unsold on him. I hate what he did, and I don't think he should be playing NRL, but he's genuinely turned his life around for the better and taken his second chance. But if he didn't have the Dragons paying his legal bills he would have been deported. I mean if he wasn't a footballer and just another average guy we wouldn't be saying the same things about him.

I really hope he can show me I'm wrong though

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Unread post by magpiecol » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 6:59 pm

God almighty!!!

Some of you people would boo Santa Claus.

:crazy :crazy :crazy :crazy

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Unread post by coivtny » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 7:18 pm

magpiecol wrote:
Sat 16 Sep, 2017 6:59 pm
God almighty!!!

Some of you people would boo Santa Claus.

:crazy :crazy :crazy :crazy
Well said. No-one condones his actions and he paid a price for it. But, when someone turns their life around as he has done, they should be given the chance to rejoin society.

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Unread post by stryker » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 8:12 pm

Mccarry wrote:
Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:03 pm
stryker wrote:
Fri 15 Sep, 2017 10:16 pm
Not one mention or concern for the bloke he stomped out, all about the effects on him. Total scum.
Stryker, alcohol is a plague on society. Him being exposed to it at 12 years old is child abuse. From that point on the development of his character and decision making was highly likely to be impaired.

Yes what he did is wrong.

People like you love to dish out the word scum. It makes you feel good. You see the vision of his savage and horrible attack and subconsciously you reason "I would never do that, I am much better than that"

You then judge him and determine that the line between good and bad people is drawn right down the middle of you and Russell.

A friend of mine, Michael teaches primary school kids. One lesson Michael asked the kids to make a list of good and bad actions. They made a list of lying, stealing, fighting with brother or sister, caring for others, charity work, listening to parents, hugging someone who is sad, Murder etc

Michael then asked them to put the list in order from most good the worst bad. The children arranged the list across the classroom floor debating as they went.

Michael then instructed them to go and stand on the list on the point where they would call someone 'good'. The kids ran to their spot, arranged roughly along the line favouring the middle section.

The last instruction was for each kid to now move to where they measure themselves.

No-one moved.

Michael explained to me that he has done the exercise dozens of times. Each child defines societies divide between good and bad people by the spot on the line where they are considered good.

Stryker you may not stomp on someone's head but I guarantee you love eating out dispite knowing you could save a starving Sirian refuge with the money. If you stood in a room with the mother of that Sirian child I guarantee she would look at you as far more evil than a reformed Packer.

Packer has faced his own evil. He has taken responsibility for his choice and committed to being a better version of himself.

I friend of mine met him this year. One who now barely writes on here because of all the negativity. He said, "you could barely imagine a nicer bloke". Packer gave him loads of time, took an interest in him and represented himself very well.

I am glad he is now a Tiger. Welcome to the Tiges Russell. I respect what you have done with your life since recovering.

Love the distinctions in your results.
Cute anecdotes. Packer is scum.
Btw, Ive been to Syria, Ive worked there....have you? Spare me the introductory level psychology.

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Unread post by Telltails » Sat 16 Sep, 2017 8:26 pm

The tolerance levelled toward Packer from WTs fans coincides with his signing. Privileged to be given the opportuniy to earn a salary playing in the NRL that wouid fund a uni degree. Not sure that many others guilty of the same would be privvy to the same benefits. Making the most of his opportunities but thats where it starts and finishes for me.

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