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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Mick de Brenni

    Bright future for Indigenous Girls as NRL Girls House construction kicks off

    Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Mick de Brenni

    Wednesday, August 01, 2018

    Bright future for Indigenous Girls as NRL Girls House construction kicks off

    The playing field is being levelled for girls and young women from remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with the construction of an NRL Cowboys House for girls kicking off in Townsville.

    Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had invested $12 million to build student accommodation for up to 50 young women in a dual boost to girls’ education and Townsville jobs.

    “The new accommodation will mirror NRL Cowboys House on land next door to the Boys’ Campus, which is already home to 50 young men from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who are attending various Townsville schools,” she said.

    “The selection process has already started for the first intake of students, who will start moving in from January next year.

    “We expect the first intake of 25 young women will be at the new accommodation for the 2019 school year, and another 25 will commence in 2020.”

    Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the NRL Cowboys House concept had always planned for a campus for girls, but the Commonwealth had dragged its feet on the issue.

    “The boys’ campus was partly funded through the National Partnership on Remote Housing, which ceased on June 30 of this year without a new agreement to take its place,” Mr Harper said.

    “Having a boys’ campus but no girls’ campus is completely unfair – and the Palaszczuk Government wasn’t going to let that stand, so we’re fully funding the project to get it off the ground.

    “Preliminary site works are completed and construction is underway, and we are going to have it ready for the start of the 2019 school year.

    “Work on the new buildings is expected to support more than 80 local jobs.”

    The Palaszczuk Government has also committed $2.5 million over four years to support the North Queensland Cowboys in operating the new accommodation for young women.

    Cowboys Community Foundation spokesperson Greg Tonner says they are delighted to have accepted an offer by the Department of Housing and Public Works to manage the facility.

    “We are thrilled at the opportunity to extend the NRL Cowboys House model to enable an additional 50 young people from remote communities to complete their education in Townsville,” said Mr Tonner.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the rugby league community was determined to forge greater opportunities for women and girls both on and off the field.

    “Our rugby league community is better for the inclusion of women and girls,” he said.

    “We know Queenslanders love their rugby league, and we are pleased to support such a worthy project that will support young women to reach their potential through education and quality care.”

    Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering life-changing opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

    “The success we are achieving at NRL Cowboys House comes down to the commitment and good-will of our many partners and supporters,” he said.

    “The new student accommodation will have its own common area, kitchen, sleeping accommodation and study areas for the students.

    “The buildings will fit in with the overall NRL Cowboys House design, and some of the new buildings will be two-storey.

    “This is all about providing a pathway for young Queenslanders to secure better futures.”

    ENDS

    Media contact: Cat Milton: 0447 117 132