New hall turning heads at Cairns State High School

Published Thursday, 09 September, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

A multi-purpose hall named after an Indigenous elder is open for business at Cairns State High School, providing benefits for the wider community.


Construction has finished on the world-class $12 million Centennial Hall which caters for sports, performing arts and community events.


Cairns MP Michael Healy and Education Minister Grace Grace officially opened the hall today, joined by the grandson of the elder that the building is named after.


“Centennial Hall has been called ‘Bou-wa’, which commemorates a Yidinji Indigenous elder at the time the school was established in 1917,” Mr Healy said.


“This recognition of Indigenous heritage reflects the school’s respect for First Nations peoples and their strong connection to the land.


“The project supported 36 local jobs and 12 apprentices which is a great boost to the local economy here in the Far North.

“We know that investing in projects like this goes a long way towards getting our region and state back on track. 


“COVID-19 hasn’t stopped our pipeline of construction across schools by any means.

“The Palaszczuk Government have invested $17 million over the last five years at Cairns SHS alone.

“And, we’re investing $51.2 million towards Far North Queensland state school infrastructure this financial year.

“That means more jobs for tradies and world-class facilities for our local students.”  

Ms Grace said the new hall can be used for basketball, netball, volleyball, music, dance, drama, visual arts and wider community events.

“Bou-wa features three sports courts, a stage, foyer and box office, and other amenities,” she said.

“It can accommodate the entire student body for assemblies and events.


“I have no doubt the students will make great use of their new hall into the future.”


Principal Chris Zilm said the new hall was of a world-class standard.


“The hall is open to community bookings and is our largest indoor events space,” Mr Zilm said.


“It has already hosted Muay Thai martial arts sessions and we’ve received lots of enquiries, one for a ball next year and others for cultural festivals.


“It’s a great support for our centres of excellence in basketball, music, dance, drama and visual arts.


“The 66 by 36 metre floorspace opens to our training pool, oval and change room facilities, and the stage can accommodate our whole school orchestra.”



Media contact: Laura McKee 0451 997 920