Sam Davis

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AFL House students achieve

A Cairns boarding house for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men has bid farewell to its largest cohort of graduates this week.

Seven students from AFL Cape York House completed their Year 12 studies this year - with three students preparing for university.

House captain Dyral Lui will attend Charles Darwin University next year to study social welfare while Timakoi Bowie and Damien Burke will go to Bond University. 

Bowie and Burke are part of the Gold Coast Suns Academy and will play for the Suns NEAFL team.

House programs manager Rick Hanlon says he is extremely proud of the group.

“It’s been a tough year for many of the boys,” Hanlon says.

“We set strong values and the graduating group are very strong and resilient.

“The boys are quite different. I think Timakoi has had a phenomenal year as has Damien Burke.

“Dyral speaks for himself. He’s a wonderful role model for the other kids and has done a lot for the culture of our house.

“He’s going to do some amazing things with his incredible heart.”

This year, students at the boarding house raised more than $4,000 for family violence services by hosting a high tea for leading businesswomen in the community.

The house’s AFL team, Cape York Eagles, went undefeated in the AFL Cairns Colts competition, claiming its second premiership.

Founded in 2013, AFL Cape York House, is a 48-bed residential facility for high school-aged boys from Cape York, the Torres Strait and Gulf of Carpentaria.