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CDU Indigenous Nationals team competing for podium finish this week

Indigenous Nationals team members pose with executives
Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Indigenous Nationals team Dangubila is competing at this week’s games.

A team of Charles Darwin University (CDU) First Nations athletes travelled to Woolongong this week to take part in the Indigenous Nationals for a third straight year.

First Nations students from across the country including 12 from CDU are competing in four sports – basketball, touch football, netball and volleyball at the five-day sporting carnival.  

This is the third year CDU’s team Dangudbila, the Larrakia word for Kangaroo will be taking part, with the team having achieved success at last year’s tournament winning gold in the basketball competition.

Denzel Kennedy a CDU Master of Teaching Student said he was enthusiastic about returning to the Indigenous Nationals for his second straight year. 

“I am excited to get together with the team and we want to improve on our overall ranking from last year, but we will do our best and see what happens,” Mr Kennedy said. 

“The Indigenous Nationals are about more than winning though, it is about being surrounded by like-minded people and celebrating culture.”

“A big part of the event is the athletic competitiveness, but it is also about coming together as a mob and representing and learning about our culture.”

Mr Kennedy, 26, a proud Kalkadoon man was born and raised in Darwin but moved to Cairns in his teenage years. 

He currently works as an Indigenous Liaison Officer at a school in Queensland, is studying his masters online part time and has played basketball in the NBL 1 league for the Ipswich Force. 

Despite his talent lying on the basketball court, Mr Kennedy says he wants to master the other three sports with his teammates.

“I am really passionate about all sports and to prepare for the Games I played in a competitive touch rugby league in Brisbane, and I also run a volleyball program at the school I work at,” Mr Kennedy said. 

“I’m hoping we can improve in all sports, and have fun.”

The Indigenous Nationals is being hosted by the University of Wollongong.

Students will have the opportunity to, not only play in sporting events, but also socialise through other activities including a celebration night, mob markets, drag bingo and State of Origin and opening and closing ceremonies. 

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor First Nations Leadership Professor Reuben Bolt wished the team all the best and said they are role models for CDU’s First Nations students. 

“I am very excited to see the team compete once again; we are very proud of the team’s performance on the field, but I am also incredibly proud of the great sportsmanship and respect they display,” Professor Bolt said. 

“The Indigenous Nationals provides an opportunity for students from a range of backgrounds to come together, learn and share their stories and creates a sense of culture and belonging.”

“I will be eagerly watching the team’s performance. Go CDU Roos,” he said. 

Throughout the week, supporters can follow Dangudbila’s sporting journey through the UniSport website. 

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