AFL Cape York House helping realise dreams

Cairns leaders have praised the work of a ‘special’ Indigenous boarding house in Bungalow.

Around 60 guests attended the opening of AFL Cape York House’s new $850,000 multipurpose facility on Friday.

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Mayor Bob Manning said the boarding facility – which accommodates 35 students from remote Indigenous communities across far north Queensland – was helping young men realise their dreams.

“What I see is a group of young men growing beautifully,” Cr Manning said.

“In terms of community value nothing can compete with this. From a city point of view we’re very proud of you.

“When you look around here … everything is so schmick. But that’s not how we measure the success of this place.

“The way we measure the success of this place is … by the students.”

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning at AFL Cape York House. (Sam Davis)

Founded in 2013, AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren said the AFL was proud to have contributed to the program.


AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren. (Sam Davis)

“Several years ago [AFLCYH programs manager] Rick [Hanlon] brought me to this site and said ‘I’m going to build an Indigenous boarding house here,” Mr Warren said.

“I always knew that one day with his passion and commitment we would see what we’re seeing now.

“These are amazing facilities and it’s all about the young Indigenous men who come down and attend here. That’s something the AFL is passionate about.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the young men in this program continue to develop.”

The facility features an undercover basketball court, change rooms, a gymnasium and canteen.

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Community members and boarding students involved in the House’s health and wellbeing programs will have access to the recreational area.

AFL Cape York House provides educational, employment and training opportunities for young Indigenous men from across far north Queensland.

Story courtesy of Sam Davis

Sam Davis is the editor and founder of

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