Corey Payne is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Future Direction Network (FDN). The FDN aims to raise the level of university participation rates amongst students from low socio-economic backgrounds. FDN works with schools and universities to deliver ambition and aspiration building programs, information evenings as well as mentoring and financial support to students from western Sydney. In 2013, FDN was granted $500,000 from the Federal Government and $72,000 from the State Government to continue with its mission of helping more kids attend university.
Corey is also a former professional rugby league player, who played for the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, the Wests Tigers and the St George Illawarra Dragons. Corey appeared in 131 National Rugby League (NRL) matches and finished his career by playing in the 2012 NRL Grand Final. In 2013, Corey was named the NSW Young Australian of year in recognition of both his efforts on and off the rugby league field. Further to this, Corey was a awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2012 to conduct global research into organisations that use the power of sport to engage youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to continue their education.
Lastly, Corey is a graduate of the University of Sydney (BCom 2007) and is in his final year of a Master of Commerce, also at the University of Sydney. Corey was the University of Sydney Young Alumni Award recipient in 2011 and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, completing the Company Directors Course (2009) and the NFP Chairman's course (2012).