CDU students ready to make their mark at Indigenous Nationals games

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

The 27th Indigenous Nationals Games will be held in Melbourne this week (26-30 June 2023) and a team of talented and athletic Charles Darwin University (CDU) students are ready to compete.

It will be the second year the university has sent a team to the games, to compete in four core sports – touch football, netball, basketball, and volleyball – against First Nations students from universities across Australia.

Jaiden McGregor, a CDU student studying a Master of Emergency and Disaster Management, is excited to represent the Northern Territory on a national level.

“I’m really looking forward to the National Indigenous University games this year, after participating in CDU’s first ever team to attend the Nationals last year; I can’t wait to experience the sharing of culture and friendship again,” Mr McGregor said.

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“It’s a really great opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people studying at university to network and learn from their peers across the country.

“I’ve got a good feeling about CDU’s team this year too, I think we’re in for a good crack.”

The team is called Dangudbila (the Larrakia word for kangaroo) and includes students who are mostly based in Darwin, and studying various courses including arts and law, health science, psychology, and social work.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor First Nations Leadership Professor Reuben Bolt said the sporting event was an inclusive and welcoming experience for First Nations students every year.

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“The Indigenous Nationals gives First Nations CDU students the chance to develop their teamwork, athletic and networking skills,” Professor Bolt said.

“It is a celebration of rich culture that promotes well-being and unity. Our students represent CDU with pride and have great sportsmanship and respect for each other and their opponents.

“I wish them all the best.”

CDU Indigenous Nationals Coordinator Jeanette O’Brien said the CDU team have been training hard and improving their skills over the past few months.

“We are thrilled to participate in the Indigenous Nationals for the second year,” Mrs O’Brien said.

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“Our team are keen to go interstate and meet other First Nations students, even if they will be competing against them on the field. They get to really put their sporting abilities to the test and challenge themselves, but also build friendships and team spirit along the way.”

The 2023 Indigenous Nationals games is being hosted at Monash University’s Clayton campus.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]