By Taylor Hunt
The National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) are up and running at the University of Western Australia and bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from all over Australia together in a five day, four sport festival.
The games started in 1996 and have continued to grow each year which, according to NITESG General Project Manager Brendon DeGois, shows the growing number of indigenous students going on to a tertiary education.
‘‘It makes you pretty proud to think we are moving forward … and these guys are studying in all areas not just your traditional law and arts degrees – you’ve got medicine and sports medicine, teaching,” he says.
The games also give a much needed chance for participants to meet other indigenous university students, something that Mr DeGois says is very important for the future.
“It creates a national network of uni students, I mean, all these students are tomorrow’s leaders for our community,” he says.
Murdoch University has fielded a team and is competing in the games for the second time.
Team captain Jenna Woods says it has been great to meet other students who have experienced similar hardships.
“It’s awesome because sometimes you forget at uni that there are lots of other blackfellas out there who are at uni and going down that path.
It’s really inspiring to see so many young Aboriginal people… and just Aboriginal people in general all going to uni,” she says.
Ms Woods says the games help inspire young students to strive towards a tertiary education.
“As a collective community when you see one person doing well that’s someone for everyone to look up to, so it’s good for young fellas to see so many people here and show that uni is something black fellas can do,” she says.