Katerina Kostakos


Monash Sport, Team Monash and The William Cooper Institute are set to celebrate the rich sporting culture of Indigenous Australia when the university hosts the 27th Indigenous Nationals this month.

The William Cooper Institute representative Erin Pennett said more than 500 Indigenous student-athletes from across Australia are expected to converge on Clayton campus in Naarm from June 26 to 30. 

“As the host, Monash will have two teams competing in the week-long games, which are designed to not only celebrate the rich sporting culture of Indigenous Australia but to also acknowledge the Cultures and histories of the participating student-athletes,” Ms Pennett said.

“Monash University event organisers are encouraging students to take part through volunteer roles, which will be a great opportunity to experience a large-scale multisport event during the semester break.'

This year, 33 universities will compete for the crown of overall champion, a title held by the Australian Catholic University, in four sports: basketball, netball, touch football and volleyball. A different sport will be played each day.

Each day, the William Cooper Institute will host a Gathering Hub to showcase local Indigenous businesses and share Indigenous culture with the wider community. The institute is a hub for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research, learning and engagement at Monash.


When did the Games begin?

In 1996, 13 diploma students from the University of Newcastle’s Wollotuka School for Aboriginal Studies started the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) as a class project.

Who is the defending overall champion? 

The Australian Catholic University took the crown last year.

Who has won the most?

The University of Western Australia has won overall champion seven times.

Which sports are played?

Basketball, netball, touch football and volleyball.

How can students sign up to volunteer at the 2023 Indigenous Nationals?

Register here.

How can spectators enjoy the Games?

Monash Sport welcomes students to root for Monash teams on and off the court, by coming along as a spectator or following live updates on the Monash Sport website and social media (below).

Team Monash Instagram

Monash Sport Instagram

Students can follow the games through other social media, too:

Indigenous Nationals Instagram

UniSport Instagram

William Cooper Institute Instagram

Written by Dongyun Kwon