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NRL Cowboys House wins national award

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and the Cowboys Community Foundation are delighted to accept the 2019 NRL Community Program of the Year award for NRL Cowboys House.

The award win was announced at NRL Cowboys House in Townsville this evening, as the last week of Term 3 begins and the House’s 85 students begin preparations to return to their remote communities for the school holidays.

NRL Cowboys House provides supported accommodation for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from some of North Queensland’s most remote and educationally disadvantaged communities, enabling them to access quality secondary education opportunities.

NRL Head of Government and Community Relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder presented the award to House students and staff and Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel, congratulating them on developing an inclusive and positive environment to learn, study and play.

“NRL Cowboys House Boys and Girls Campus has been a wonderful success since opening, supporting close to 90 Indigenous students with accommodation whilst they complete their studies at school,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.

“The North Queensland Cowboys have a long history of leading positive and proactive community activity. This award is testament to their dedication to ensure that a continuation of the next generation of North Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are provided with the best possible opportunity to complete their studies and prepare for their lives ahead.”

NRL Cowboys House Boys Campus officially opened in 2017 and is home to 55 young Indigenous men, while the Girls Campus opened its doors to 30 young Indigenous women in 2019.

Both facilities are purpose-designed and culturally respectful environments and will reach capacity at the start of the 2020 school year with 105 students.

Mr Reibel thanked the NRL for the national recognition of the program.

“This award is very special to the club, the Cowboys Community Foundation and NRL Cowboys House as ours is just one of some very special NRL club programs working hard in the community,” Mr Reibel said.

“I’d like to recognise the work of Fiona Pelling and the Community team, Rochelle Jones and the NRL Cowboys House team, the Cowboys Community Foundation Board, our partners including the Australian and Queensland Governments, the NRL and our corporate partners, and the North Queensland Cowboys family, staff and ambassadors.

“This is the third year of operation for NRL Cowboys House, and each year we have grown and challenged ourselves to achieve more – this would not have been possible without the dedication and support of everyone who has contributed to this inspirational and life-changing facility.”

NRL Cowboys House removes distance as a barrier to accessing education and provides the stability and support students need to be able to fulfil their potential while building long-lasting friendships and life skills along the way.

Managed by the Cowboys Community Foundation, the charity arm of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, NRL Cowboys House is a joint initiative between the National Rugby League, North Queensland Cowboys, the Queensland Government and the Australian Government.

Enrolments open

Enrolments are currently open for NRL Cowboys House Girls Campus in 2020 – to apply for a place at NRL Cowboys House, please view the enrolment pack.

Support NRL Cowboys House

  • Donations: By supporting NRL Cowboys House, you’re making true change where it counts – choose how you want to make a difference:
  • Bed donation: Join the education journey of our NRL Cowboys House students by supporting a student bed with an annual tax-deductible donation:

For more information, visit

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.