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CDU partners with Hoops 4 Health to celebrate NAIDOC week

Charles Darwin University (CDU) staff and students will celebrate NAIDOC Week and recognise the history, culture and achievements of First Nations people.
Charles Darwin University (CDU) staff and students will celebrate NAIDOC Week and recognise the history, culture and achievements of First Nations people.

This NAIDOC Week Charles Darwin University (CDU) is joining forces with a leading Northern Territory organisation that empowers First Nations young people and communities through the sport of basketball. 

CDU’s First Nations Leadership and the Men@CDU program is collaborating with Hoops 4 Health, an organisation that provides opportunities for positive change through mentors and healing centred sport.

Staff and students at the Casuarina Campus will take part in a series of basketball activities and learn about First Nations culture, and the work that Hoops 4 Health does. 

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor of First Nations Leadership Professor Reuben Bolt said this year’s NAIDOC Week theme of Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud provides an opportunity to celebrate the strength of First Nations culture. 

“NAIDOC Week honours our First Nations communities and celebrates the strength and connection we have with Country, each other and our community, and provides a chance for everyone to learn more about our culture,” Professor Bolt said. 

“At CDU we are proud to host and attend a number of NAIDOC Week activities and engage with the community to promote a greater acceptance and understanding of First Nations culture and encourage change.”

“I am excited to partner with Hoops 4 Health and learn more about the important work they do within the community and the change they are bringing about.”    

Hoops 4 Health has been operating for more than 20 years and delivers weekly programs in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, rehabilitation facilities and in the adult prisons in Alice Springs and Darwin.

The programs are tailored for Indigenous youth and developed by First Nations mentors and coaches and uses science and the latest trends in nurturing young peoples’ developing minds. 

Hoops 4 Health Founder Timmy Duggan said that sport can be an important activity in facilitating change. 

“At Hoops 4 Health, we believe in the power of sport as a healing and transformative tool. Our healing-centered sport concepts are designed to engage individuals on both a physical and emotional level,” Mr Duggan said. 

“Through basketball and other sports, we create a supportive environment where participants can build resilience, develop a sense of belonging, and find strength in their journey towards healing.”

“Our programs are more than just about playing a game; they are about creating a community that fosters growth, well-being, and a positive future,” he said. 

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Men@CDU Executive Sponsor, Professor Steve Rogers said the Hoops 4 Health initiative is well aligned with the work Men@CDU is doing. 

“Men@CDU is all about providing a safe space for the community to get together and help each other to improve overall health and well-being, and that is exactly what Hoops 4 Health does, so this is a fantastic partnership,” Professor Rogers said. 

To celebrate NAIDOC Week, CDU’s Casuarina Campus will hold a BBQ after the Hoops 4 Health event which will take place on July 10. 

In addition, on Tuesday July 9, First Nations Leadership will hold an Open House event at the Casuarina Campus, at which the CDU First Nations Workforce Plan will be launched. 

Staff and students will also have an opportunity to learn more about the support programs on offer for students and view a newly curated collection of artworks by First Nations artists. 

As an opportunity to give back to the community, CDU’s Katherine campus has purchased 20 NAIDOC Katherine ball tickets that will be available for community members who can’t afford to go to the ball.   

Throughout the week staff and students on all campuses will be encouraged to participate in planned community marches and activities.

For more information on NAIDOC Week which runs from 7-14 July and the activities on offer see the NAIDOC Week website. Further information on the activities happening various location can be found here; Darwin, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Alice Springs and Sydney.

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