Sponsorship Stories

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Bamaga Enterprises sponsored the ‘Jets’ for team accommodation on Thursday Island in late September and early October. The Jets were competing at the Zenadth Kes Basketball Carnival in the Men’s A Grade pool.

The competitive event included state league basketball players and the Jets lost by only two points to the overall competition winners, according to Aaron Tamwoy.

“One of the reasons I organised this team was to encourage local basketball players from Bamaga to compete in the annual Basketball Carnival, especially our younger players. It’s a great opportunity to give them exposure to a higher level of basketball,” Mr Tamwoy said.

“I’m hoping that this will build more interest in the sport here in the NPA and encourage our youth to participate in the local competition. We’re looking to take a team over every year and would like to thank BEL for being one of the major sponsors.”


The Saibai Stags successfully participated at the 2019 Zenadth Kes Cup in October, with BEL sponsoring the team’s rugby league uniforms.

The Carnival on Thursday Island attracted ten teams from throughout the Torres Strait which included past and present NRL players. The Saibai Stags won every game throughout the round robin competition, only to be defeated by Mulga by two points in the major semi-finals.

The team finished third overall at the Carnival and demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and effort throughout the weekend.

Saibai Stags player, Adeah Kabai, said the competition was a wonderful opportunity. “Throughout the weekend the team really bonded and lifelong friendships were created. This has contributed to healthy lifestyle choices while promoting unity in the community.

“The team would like to convey our utmost gratitude and appreciation of BEL’s sponsorship, which is due to strong cultural and family connections from Saibai Island to the mainland (Bamaga and Seisia),” Mr Kabai said.


Bamaga Enterprises also sponsored team uniforms for the Northern Brothers rugby league club in October to participate in the Dan Ropeyarn Cup.

The 30-strong squad included local school students, and the team made the semi-finals, finishing fourth overall in the competition.


Olive Whap and her brother Zephaniah Whap

She may be young, but Bamaga’s Olive Whap is already an emerging star in both rugby and Aussie rules football.

Olive’s mother, Mabelene Whap, had heard of Bamaga Enterprises’ sponsorship program and found more information on the BEL website.

According to Ms Whap, remote communities have hidden talents that are not being recognised, due to lack of exposure.

“Olive progressed from a clinic on Thursday Island in May to a trial in Atherton, then Townsville, where she was finally selected for the Northern Marlins Junior State team for QRL Northern Region.”

BEL sponsored Olive to travel to the Sunshine Coast for the Queensland Rugby League Junior State Championships – Under 14 Girls. The support covered team fees, airfares, accommodation and meals.

“The competition built her skills and gave her more experience,” Ms Whap said. “It helped Olive realise just how tough you have to be to play Rugby at this higher level.

“As a normally quiet girl, the tournament helped her gain confidence that she can fit in anywhere, not just among her own people.”

Olive was still playing both rugby and Australian rules football through Thursday Island Secondary College in 2019, but has set herself goals. According to Ms Whap, Olive is thinking of schooling down south to continue growing her skills and exposing herself to a higher level of competition on a regular basis.


In November, BEL sponsored the Muyngu Koekaper dance team from Saibai Island for its 30th anniversary. The event was celebrated together with the Torres Strait Regional Authority 25th anniversary over three days.

Each day of the celebration celebrated a different period of time – past, present and future.
The dance team acknowledged the families on Bamaga and their cultural hereditary ties to Saibai through its Seven Clans.

“The families here on Saibai are aware that its cultural traditions and dancing are still practised and showcased in the NPA and mainland Australia and we are extremely proud of that,” said Gidina Waia, Coordinator for Muyngu Koekaper.

“We’d like to sincerely thank Bamaga Enterprises for its support of this special milestone for our dance team. The elders and the community of Saibai are forever grateful.”


Bamaga Enterprises has sponsored Timacoy Tabuai to assist with boarding at the NRL Cowboys House, which provides supported accommodation for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The Cowboys House enables youth in remote communities to access quality secondary education opportunities in Townsville, and Timacoy is now studying to become an auto electrician at Kirwan State High School. He aspires to become an NRL footballer and has had the opportunity to train with the Cowboys since commencing at the boarding house.


Are you an Indigenous University or TAFE student residing in the Northern Peninsula Area? You may be eligible to receive funding support through the Bamaga Enterprises Community Fund with an educational scholarship. Apply today!

Educational funding opportunities include:

  • scholarships for university course fees up to $5,000 per annum; and
  • significant TAFE Diploma course fees up to $1,000 per annum.

Who can apply:

An application from any Indigenous person who has resided in the NPA for a period of five years or more, or any former residents who live elsewhere for health, medical, educational or separate reasons and who have strong family ties to the NPA, will be considered by the Bamaga Enterprises board.

Applicants must also address other criteria. For more information including eligibility criteria and application details, visit www.bament.com.au/sponsorships-donations.


Bamaga Enterprises has continued its long-standing support of Bamagau Kazil, contributing $50,000 to improve the safety of the centre’s new playground area.

The sponsorship covered the ‘soft-fall’ base of the playground, which is a durable, springy material that provides some cushioning if children fall off equipment. The soft fall is a safety requirement for the playground, which is being reinstalled.

Bamagau Kazil is a small, community organisation based in Bamaga, managed entirely by Torres Strait Islander women. It provides child-care services for Bamaga residents and surrounding communities.

BEL’s General Manager, Chris Foord, said BEL oversaw the works in December, which involved ground preparation and pouring wet rubber onto the surface.

“Bamagau Kazil is a registered direct gift recipient and is one of only a few organisations in Bamaga that we can donate to directly. It provides a much-needed and welcomed facility with its day care and pre-school, which allows parents to continue in employment to support their families,” Mr Foord said.

Kate Gallaway, CEO of NPA Family & Community Services, thanked BEL for its support. “The kids love the new soft fall and play on it daily,” she said.



BEL provided $17,500 as part of its sponsorship program for Year-7 students to travel to Canberra in September 2019.

The 20 students from Northern Peninsula Area State College (NPASC) toured Parliament House where they enjoyed the opportunity to act as Sergeant-in-arms, Speaker, Clark, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader roles.

NPASC Year 7 teacher, Dennis McIntosh, supervised the trip and described BEL’s contribution as “visionary support for the education of local children”.

“We are indebted to Bamaga Enterprises for their significant financial contribution to the trip.

“The language acquisition and the introduction to complex conceptual frameworks that underpin our democracy were accessible to our students through experiencing them and participating in hands-on activities.”

The students during their visit to the Australian Institute of Sport

Students also visited the Australian War Memorial, where they were moved by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and in finding Indigenous soldiers from their home region. Other highlights of the trip included a visit to the High Court where Eddie Mabo changed the face of Australian land ownership.