NRL Cowboys House celebrates 2019

Four inspirational young men from remote North Queensland communities have created NRL Cowboys House history, recognised as the first Year 12 graduates to complete their secondary studies as boarders of the award-winning facility.

> Watch the full awards coverage

Hakeem Peters (Doomadgee), Krystian Bevan (Mossman), Elijah Logan (Normanton) and Rashaan Gibson (Hope Vale) will each receive their Queensland Certificate of Education this year, and their achievement was celebrated with over 200 fellow students, staff, partners, contributors and special guests at the House’s annual awards night on Thursday.

Hakeem, Krystian and Rashaan are currently completing trade-based apprenticeships, while Elijah plans to pursue a sporting career.

The event was also the first time for the two campuses of 84 students to reflect on the school year together, following the opening of the Girls Campus in January.

Cowboys Community Foundation director Jeff Reibel thanked the student cohort for their passion, drive and persistence.

“As students at NRL Cowboys House, they are also part of the Cowboys family, and we share their journey through academic, sporting and cultural pursuits and challenges,” Mr Reibel said.

“Their spirit of adventure is an inspiration and we congratulate them on their courage and resilience.

“A special congratulations to our four graduates – we look forward to following their progress in their chosen careers.

“We also thank our staff and volunteers, and our partners, supporters and donors, whose generosity in providing goods and services not only keeps our doors open but helps create a safe and supported living and learning environment for our students.”

The evening included a dance performance by House students and on-screen video tributes and was streamed live for the first time to enable families and contributors to be part of the event.

General Manager Rochelle Jones acknowledged the support of the nine Townsville partner schools who work closely with the House throughout the school year.

“Without our partner schools, our wonderful facility would not be able to succeed,” Ms Jones said.

“We’re extremely lucky to have such a supportive group of schools within our local area and we’re delighted to share our students’ progress and achievement with them.”

Awards recognising vocational, academic and sporting achievement, community service and personal accomplishment were presented during the evening.


Chumbahwah Music Award: Simeon Namok

Junior Academic Award: George Abednego, Brylee McMullen, Tanya Toby

Senior Academic Award: Krystian Bevan, Alkere Forester

Academic Encouragement Award: Krusayis Gaiden, Rahu Mara, Edwina Oakley, Sanetta Nona

Best at Study Award: Tekelu Mene, Nathan Widgell, Chasidy Pearson

Leadership Award: Gary Tom, Lucky Gabori, Babetha Neliman

Most Outstanding Sportsperson Award: Clay George, Elijah Joe, Babetha Neliman, Nahlani Ah Kit

Community Service Award: Joshua Daniels, Steven Tom, Gershom Kelly, Sanetta Nona

Resilience Award: Valentine Kahn, Larnie Mara

Most Outstanding Male & Female Boarders: Hayley Pearson, Ataya Pearson

Apprenticeship Awards: Apprentices – Krystian Bevan, Hakeem Peters, Rashaan Gibson, Jeremy Logan, Babetha Neliman, Eli Taylor; Trainees – Alkere Forester, Nahlani Ah Kit

Year 12 Graduates: Krystian Bevan, Rashaan Gibson, Elijah Logan, Hakeem Peters

NRL Cowboys House is a unique and supportive accommodation solution providing life-changing opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote communities, and winner of the 2019 NRL Community Program of the Year.

This is the third year of operations for the House, which will reach its capacity enrolment of 104 students for the start of the 2020 school year.

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