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Students at NRL Cowboys House have explored their culture and identity through a program run by Bangarra Dance, one of Australia's leading performing arts companies.

The students successfully nominated to be part of Bangarra's Rekindling program, which aims to inspire pride, kinship and a sense of strength in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through a series of dance residencies with secondary school-aged students.  

Participants research and gather stories with guidance from Elders within their communities, developing skills to produce thought-provoking performances and community events.

As part of the program, four House students participated last week in a cultural dance performance at Jezzine Barracks in Townsville, along with 23 other school students from Townsville, St Bernard’s and Mossman.

NRL Cowboys House Education Manager Mary McInnis said the performance was 'just magical’.

“Their nomination had to express why they wanted to be a part of the program, and what they would bring to the program – it was definitely much more than just a dance,” Ms McInnis said.

“While the three weeks of practice were challenging, the boys were extremely excited about their performance.

“They enjoyed the entire program and came away with much more knowledge about their culture and identity.”

NRL Cowboys House is a purpose-built boarding facility in Townsville designed to accommodate Indigenous students from remote communities throughout North Queensland.

The first 25 students from north-west and Far North Queensland settled into the House earlier this year, and are currently attending local secondary schools.

The House is a joint initiative between the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, National Rugby League and Queensland and Australian Governments and is managed by the Cowboys Community Foundation.

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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.