Partnering for port communities

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) have kicked off a community-based partnership that will engage school children from across the region.

Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport Curtis Pitt joined Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner and NQBP CEO Steve Lewis on Monday to announce the three-year community partnership at the Port of Mackay’s Mulherin Park.

“Along with my fellow Shareholding Minister Mark Bailey, I congratulate NQBP and the Cowboys for putting the community, and in particular young people, at the heart of this partnership,” Mr Pitt said.

“As a proud regional Queenslander, I know the role the Cowboys play both on and off the field in representing North Queensland on a national stage.

“Like the Cowboys, North Queenslanders have a pioneering spirit that sees us succeed even when times may be tough.

“With a focus on positive messages and smart choices, this partnership will see the Cowboys’ proven community programs reach hundreds of school children across the North.”

Mr Lewis said NQBP was contributing the equivalent of $90,000 per year over a three-year period to enable a tailored community engagement program that reaches across all NQBP’s port communities.

“Combining our respective community engagement programs should provide synergy to both organisations,” Mr Lewis said.  

“We are both proud North Queensland entities.

“As the port authority for Hay Point, Mackay, Abbot Point and Weipa our communities stretch right across the North.

“So not only does more than half Queensland’s trade by tonnage pass through our ports, but we are committed to a sustainable future for our port communities.

“The partnership will be centred on both organisations’ shared values of community engagement – including with Indigenous communities and children – leadership, innovation and integrity.”

While a number of activities and benefits attach to the partnership, the centrepiece will include the Cowboys making four, two-day visits each year to the communities in and around NQBP’s ports (Weipa, Bowen and two visits to service the Mackay/Sarina areas).  

Mr Tonner said the partnership with NQBP enables the Cowboys to extend their successful community programs across North Queensland. 

“As well as our on-field success, I am equally proud of the contribution the Cowboys make in the community,” Mr Tonner.

“We have an extensive community engagement program reaching across all North Queensland regions that has achieved demonstrable successes across a range of demographics, including with our Indigenous communities.

“This partnership ensures we can continue to develop and extend our community work across even more regions.”

While the partnership will include a number of community-focused activities through the year, the centrepiece of the agreement will be an annual two-day visit to each community including:

  • Children’s training session in each NQBP port community each year – these will be conducted by club legends such as Matthew Bowen and Brent Tate in conjunction with Cowboys development staff.
  • During the community visits, the Cowboys and NQBP will visit selected primary schools and engage the students with Cowboys orientated education and participation programs.
  • A Business Leaders Function in the evening of each visit, attended by Cowboys and NQBP management to meet and engage key local community stakeholders.

Schools and other community stakeholders in the port communities of Hay Point, Mackay, Bowen and Weipa can follow nqbp.com.au for more information, call the NQBP community hotline on 1300 129 255 or email info@nqbp.com.au.

Top: Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner & North Queensland Bulk Ports CEO Steve Lewis
Bottom: North Queensland Bulk Ports CEO Steve Lewis, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt, Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner and Cowboys fan Corbin Sadler being held by former Cowboy Brent Tate