The staff at NRL Cowboys House happily welcomed the long-awaited arrival of 25 students from remote communities across North Queensland this week, as the House ramps up for its first operational school year.
NRL Cowboys House will give Indigenous boys from remote communities the opportunity to access quality schooling options in Townsville, while living in a purpose-designed, culturally respectful and supportive facility.
After travelling for most of the day, students arrived on Monday afternoon with their parents to be greeted by the Cowboys Community Foundation team and House staff who were looking forward to a full week of inductions and field excusions.
NRL Cowboys House head of boarding Jonas Idai said the moment the students arrived was a long time coming, but one they were all very excited about.
“Having the students finally moving into the facility is a huge milestone, and we’ve all really been looking forward to meeting and getting to know them as they embark on their first school year,” Idai said.
“A few of the students were a little nervous on their first night here, but we’re starting to build really strong relationships with them. It’s beginning to feel like a second home.”
With the primary purpose of the first week being an introduction to all House staff, and visits to local attractions such as Riverway, The Strand and Billabong Sanctuary, the students would also be making a visit to their respective school in preparation for start of term next week.
NRL Cowboys House education manager Mary McInnis said the week’s scheduled activities would hopefully give the students the best start to their time at the House and to their schooling, and would really give them every chance to feel ready for their first day at school on Monday.
“We’ve really tried to centre our induction week on preparing our students for school, and in doing this we can start to see their strengths and interests and will be able to work on these more closely throughout the year,” McInnis said.
NRL Cowboys House will assist students in completing secondary schooling in Townsville, while nurturing their additional interests, whether that be in the arts, academic or sports.
The House is a joint initiative between the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, the National Rugby League and Queensland and Australian Governments.
The facility will be managed by the Cowboys Community Foundation, the charity arm of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, with financial and other support from the NRL.
Details about the official opening of the NRL Cowboys House will be available soon.