James Cook University

Student Halls of Residence (Burralga Yumba)

The second NAIF loan helped develop new Halls of Residence on the JCU Townsville Campus. The project consisted of a seven-storey facility to house 425 students.

Investment Decision

January 2020


Social Infrastructure


Townsville, QLD

JCU Halls Of Residence Front Entrance Signage Jcu Logo White Brick Wall Burralga Yumba on Halls of Residence (Burralga Yumba)


NAIF Loan Amount up to


Total Project Value


Length of Loan

25 years



Forecast Jobs


Project Status


The second NAIF loan helped develop new Student Halls of Residence on the JCU Townsville Campus. The project consisted of a seven-storey facility to house 425 students.

About James Cook University

James Cook University (JCU) is a distinguished institution that takes pride in its four vibrant campuses: Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane, and Singapore. These strategic locations enable JCU to deliver a comprehensive and globally oriented education, all in line with its pioneering spirit and unwavering dedication to academic excellence.

Project Overview

The seven-storey, 10,000 m² building will house more than 400 students in contemporary and affordable student accommodation featuring study bedrooms in share accommodation, high-quality communal facilities, and a centralised, self-catered kitchen and dining space. It is located on Mount Stuart Street, adjacent to the Engineering & Innovation Place. The building opened to students in June, 2022.

How We Helped

NAIF focuses on projects that generate real and sustained population growth across northern Australia, and the new Halls of Residence at JCU is an example of a transformational project that will ultimately grow the region’s economy in the decades to come.

Public Impact

The project has a forecast public benefit of $140 million over 30 years. This includes the advantages of retaining students that may otherwise leave the region and attracting new students into the region with contemporary on-campus accommodation. The Student Halls of Residence has an estimated number of jobs of 348 during the construction phase and 221 jobs during the operations phase.

NAIF’s Investment Decision… gave JCU the confidence to progress the work required.

Professor Sandra Harding

JCU Vice Chancellor.

Related Links







Indigenous Engagement

Traditional owners of this land

  • The Bindal People

The Bindal people are the Traditional Owners of the lands on which James Cook University’s Townsville campus is located. The Bindal people are part of the Birrigubba nation, and their lands extend from Ross River in the north, south along the coast towards the Burdekin River, covering the southern suburbs of the City of Townsville as well as the towns of Ayr, Home Hill, Giru and Brandon in the Burdekin Region. 

The Bindal people refer to their country as Thul Garrie Waja. One of the creeks running through JCU’s Townsville campus is named Wadda Mooli Creek. Wadda Mooli means welcome and goodbye in the Birrigubba language, which is spoken by the Bindal people.

Indigenous Engagement Strategy Commitments  

  • James Cook University’s IES includes commitments in key areas including participation, employment, and community development. 
  • Key participation and employment commitments include an Indigenous employment target of 3% during design, construction, and operations phases of the project, and engaging with the local Bindal Traditional Owners and involving them during the project’s construction and operational phases.
  • Key community development commitments include the engagement of a cultural consultant to assist with the incorporation of Indigenous knowledges and designs into the project, as well as the establishment of an Accommodation Scholarship for Indigenous students, valued at $40k per annum. 

Indigenous Engagement Strategy Outcomes 

  • As of February 2023, some of the key outcomes delivered from James Cook University’s IES to date include exceeding Indigenous employment targets during the construction phase of the project (13.1% Indigenous employment recorded on site as of March 2022) and achieving a 3.9% Indigenous procurement spend during the construction phase of the project (valued at $1.8m in March 2022). 
  • Some of the community development outcomes delivered include the completed project being formally named as “Burralga Yumba” (or Brolga Place), incorporating Bindal languages, knowledges, and stories into the design of the building, and the commissioning of artworks by Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, which is also incorporated into the internal design of each floor of the project.
  • In 2022, 13 Indigenous students were awarded with accommodation scholarships at Burralga Yumba. The value of the accommodation scholarship increased to $120k per annum (from $40k as outlined in the IES) with the support of UniLodge and the McCall MacBain Foundation.