A team of 10 exceptional staff and students are representing the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) at this year’s Indigenous Nationals – a week-long multisport competition for Indigenous student-athletes.
Students from Fremantle and Sydney travelled to Victoria this week to showcase their talents in a mixed competition that includes touch football, basketball, netball and volleyball.
Led by co-captains Aaron Haji Ali and Destiny Peris, the UNDA team embraced the spirit of unity and cultural significance by imprinting their handprints onto a Kangaroo skin, symbolising their deep connection to the land and their shared aspirations.
The team’s uniforms proudly displayed artwork by Kymberley Oakley, Manager of Indigenous Engagement and Success, which embodies the close-knit Notre Dame community and the strong bond among staff and students across the campuses, perfectly capturing the essence of “many mobs but one family.”
At the opening ceremony on Monday, Destiny – a second-year nursing student in Sydney – was awarded a prestigious BP Indigenous Uni Games scholarship valued at $5000.
The scholarship recognises her outstanding accomplishments and will help support her in her chosen sport.
Indigenous student support and outreach officers at UNDA, Cindy Barrie and Freda Hammond, expressed their enthusiasm for being part of the first team to represent the University at the games.
“It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the first team representing UNDA,” they said.
“Our students from both Fremantle and Sydney campuses have developed a friendship from east to west that will continue in the future. They have wholeheartedly embraced the ethos of UNDA.”
The event started in 1996 and was originally known as the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games.
It brings together Indigenous student-athletes from universities across Australia, celebrating the rich sporting culture of Indigenous Australia while acknowledging the heritage and history of the participants.