In celebration of NAIDOC Week, on Thursday July 8, Monash University welcomed visitors from the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University of Technology and the wider Monash community to take part in an Indigenous mixed netball tournament.
A massive congratulations goes out to our friends at Melb Uni — the Murrup Barak team — who won the competition! Special mentions go out to everyone else who got involved and gave it their absolute best.
Uni of Melb 39 defeat Monash 9
Swinburne 33 defeated All Stars 25
Uni of Melb 44 defeat Swinburne 20
Monash 28 defeated All Stars 11
Jess Bennett, who helped pull the Monash team together and is a proud Aboriginal woman of the Ngunnawal people (having grown up on Wiradjuri country in Albury) said “[the evening] was a great opportunity for [everyone] to come together as a community and celebrate NAIDOC week. The competition was strong, as it always is with our mob, and we would like to congratulate the Murrup Barak team from Melbourne for their big win of the competition. We look forward to playing them again!”
While a great time was had by all, it’s important to note that the evening was about so much more than just the results, and rather about highlighting the importance of protecting and maintaining the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“NAIDOC Week is [a] time for our community to celebrate our successes and resilience as strong and deadly Blak people. This year I am especially grateful for our leaders who continue the fight to save our Country and persist in the process of decolonisation. Always was and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lands,” Jess explains.
For those of us who aren’t a part of the NAIDOC community, this week (and every other week) is just as important too. True allyship requires work and is not just a once-a-year commitment. It’s one we should be actively striving to honour everyday.
If you would like to learn more about the significance of this year’s theme ‘Heal Country’, we highly recommend these fantastic resources: