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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Indigenous lifesavers compete in nationals

Date posted: 23 January 2012

Australia's first Indigenous surf lifesaving club recently competed at the national championships in Sydney.

The Walngawu Djakamirri Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 2009 in the remote Northern Territory community of Yirrkala, about 1000km east of Darwin on the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is the first ever lifesaving club to be established in a remote Indigenous community.

Training in the Top End has its difficulties, with the ocean being off limits during the summer wet season. 

'Down in our country, there's lots and lots of crocodiles and jellyfish. It's hard to train. We have to stay on the sand. Training in the sand is really hot,' said 18-year-old Yirrmal Marika.

The three young men and two young women in the team, who are part of the East Arnhem Land Yolgnu people, competed in the beach flags, relay and sprint events.

Marika said he was proud to represent his community and his people at the event.

'It is really good, making my family proud. My mates, they're making their families proud. It's great,' he said.

Source: Manly Daily


Last updated: 3 February 2012
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