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Indigenous students visit Great Barrier Reef

November 1, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Indigenous students from remote Tropical North Queensland communities have been treated to a day on the Great Barrier Reef aboard Passions of Paradise.

Passions of Paradise Chief Executive Officer Scotty Garden said the Cairns company was assisting AFL Cape York House reward their students for strong school attendance figures.

“This was the first time these teenagers have travelled to the Great Barrier Reef on a tour vessel and we enjoyed showing them why people travel from all over the world to experience the colours of the Reef this way,” he said.

AFL Cape York House Program Manager Rick Hanlon said 10 boys from the senior school travelled with Passions of Paradise after achieving 94 per cent attendance during the past term.

“The students are from Cape York, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Torres Strait and stay at AFL Cape York House to do their secondary schooling.

“As part of their term program we set a challenge between our senior block of students from years 10-12 and the junior block from years 7-9 around school attendance,” he said.

“We encourage them by teaching them about things like the importance of going to bed early the night before a school day.

“This trip is about recognising achievement and giving them an incentive to work together as a team.

“Sometimes cultural issues mean the boys must go home, but we have been seeing attendance figures of more than 90 per cent this year.

“AFL Cape York House currently has 20 students from the Torres Strait, Kowanyama, Aurukun, Wujal Wujal, Hopevale, Lockhart River and Mornington Island.”

Students stay at AFL Cape York House in Cairns where they attend partner schools and colleges and have the opportunity to be involved in many out-of-school experiences, including sports, cultural pursuits and work or training.


Personal development as well as academic success is a key aim of AFL Cape York House, with the intent of producing young men who will play a worthwhile role in their home communities as well as the broader community.

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