Cape Boys Fly High at AFL House

Cape Boys Fly High at AFL House

Cape Boys Fly High at AFL House

It has been a shock to the system, but that was always the plan as the inaugural boarders at Buchan St’s AFL Cape York House prepare to return home for the school holidays next week.

Twenty-eight Indigenous Cape York teenage boys have lived at the new facility while attending school in Cairns for the past two months. The unique project is designed to give young men from the Cape an opportunity to complete school and find employment, using Aussie rules as the hook.

Yesterday a handful of boarders were kicking the footy on the oval, while others were inside playing pool or doing school work. General manager Richard Stewart, who lives on site, said it had been a positive start to the program. But he said the acid test would be how many students returned to the House for the second term.

‘‘It depends on how much family support they have,’’ he said. ‘‘Certainly the whole routine of getting up early, preparing lunches and getting ready for school was a struggle early on, but they have adjusted well. We’ve only had six sick days in total and the four from Aurukun haven’t missed a day between them. It will be the first full term of school they’ve completed in their lives.’’

Staff from AFL Sportsready, who provide employment and education guidance to those in all levels of the AFL system, visited yesterday. ‘‘We see lots of projects like this and this is impressive stuff,’’ Sportsready CEO James Montgomery said.

: Courtesy the Cairns Post, Murray Wenzel ([email protected])
TOP MARKS: AFL Cape York House boys have impressed their teachers.
PICTURE: Brendan Francis