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The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and James Cook University are teaming up, today announcing a strategic partnership to boost health, wellbeing and education in northern Queensland.

As the newest major partner to saddle up with the Cowboys, James Cook University has signed on for a multi-year strategic partnership that sees them formally affiliated with the North’s national rugby league club for the first time.

From a collaborative foundation in sports science research and the education of past and present players, the new partnership will see two of Queensland’s iconic brands join forces to deliver a strategic future in innovative job creation and inspire education across our communities.

North Queensland Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner said the club was excited to collaborate with the North’s largest tertiary organisation, with an influence on education that extends throughout the entire Cowboys footprint.

“This partnership is especially important to our club as it gives each organisation an opportunity to achieve greater change together, inspiring North Queenslanders to embrace education as an innovative pathway to employment,” Mr Tonner said.

“We each want to afford our communities the greatest chance to succeed, and now – together – we have the combined resources to provide quality research and education options, increasing business and job opportunities across the board.

“The next three years will be an exciting journey as the partnership strategy is rolled out.”

Recognised as a leading international tertiary institution with campuses in Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane and Singapore, James Cook University will join the Cowboys as the ‘Official Tertiary Education Partner’, providing world-class opportunities to students across northern Queensland.

JCU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Global Strategy & Engagement Professor Robyn McGuiggan said the partnership is a great fit, combining the passion both organisations have to engage with their northern Queensland communities.

“Together we can achieve significantly more than each of us working alone," Professor McGuiggan said. 

“This partnership allows us to build on the current activities that JCU undertakes with the Cowboys and offers new opportunities, some known and others yet to be explored, for both organisations to work together for the benefit of our communities."

Key gains for North Queensland:

  • JCU's Schools Engagement team will work with the Cowboys in schools to promote the benefits of education and healthy living.
  • The partnership will allow the Cowboys and JCU to expand their current research collaboration and develop new joint research projects around health and wellbeing, and sport and exercise science.
  • The Work Integrated Learning program already established will be expanded to allow JCU students to gain valuable work experience with the club.
  • JCU will also provide study options for Cowboys players to help them prepare for their off-field careers following retirement from rugby league.

Main image (L-R): Greg Tonner, North Queensland Cowboys CEO; Bluey; Bill Tweddell, JCU Chancellor; Reuben Cotter, U20s Cowboys player; Prof Robyn McGuiggan, JCU Deputy Vice Chancellor of Global Strategy & Engagement; Mitch Dunn, U20s Cowboys player

Second image: Cowboys Bluey with secondary students from Thuringowa State High School

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.