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Australian Catholic University wins the 26th Indigenous Nationals presented by bp

UniSport Media Release

For release: 30 June 2022

After four days of competition across four sports, Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been crowned the winners of the 2022 Indigenous Nationals presented by bp in Queensland this afternoon.

The 26th Indigenous Nationals organising committee respectfully acknowledges the Turrbal and Yugara People, the traditional owners of the land of which the event took place and pay our respects to elders past and present.

ACU become only the fourth institution to successfully defend their title after winning it for the first time in 2021. This is the first time since The University of Western Australia won in 2014 a university has successfully defended their overall champion title. ACU championship run was a result of top three finishes in each sport during the week.

Each team competed in four sports across the four days to determine the individual sport champions. Congratulations to the winners of each sport:

  • The University of Adelaide (AU) – Basketball

  • The University of Newcastle (UON) – Touch

  • The University of Queensland (UQ) – Netball

  • Griffith University (GU) – Volleyball

During the week, most valuable players (MVPs) were awarded for each sport for men and women. The following student athletes were awarded MVPs:

  • Basketball

    • Men - JaKobe Hunter (Queensland University of Technology)

    • Women - Lily Sarra (ACU) and Tamika Reid (AU)

  • Touch Football

    • Men - Jackson Eckford (UON)

    • Women - Alkira Johnson (UON) and Taylah Gray (UON)

  • Netball

    • Men - Alex Bennett (Monash University)

    • Women - Talitha Cox (UQ)

  • Volleyball

    • Men - Darcy Lonergan (GU)

    • Women - Abbie Pearson (GU)

The Spirit of Games title is awarded to the institution who displays the best spirit and sportsmanship throughout the event. This award is voted on by member institutions, umpires, referees, and staff. Congratulations to the University of Tasmania was awarded the Spirit of the Games title .

UniSport Chief Executive Officer, Mark Sinderberry paid tribute to all participants for the spirit in which they played the four days of competition.  “Congratulations to all competing teams and officials on a great week of competition, in particular, congratulations to ACU for winning the overall champions title” Sinderberry said.

Sinderberry also extended his appreciation to the staff at Queensland Institute of Technology for their efforts in hosting the 26th Indigenous Nationals.  “The event brought together all elements of what the Indigenous Nationals stands for, from the cultural significance of the opening ceremony, the four-day festival of sport and the ability of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander student-athletes from across the country to connect through sport.”

QUT Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy), Angela Barney-Leitch said the games had provided a great opportunity for Indigenous university students to build community. 

“I was really impressed by the level of skill I saw on the fields and courts, but what was more important was watching the students show great sportsmanship and develop connections within their teams and with other teams,” she said. 

Ms Barney-Leitch said hosting the Indigenous Nationals at the same time as the community-based Murri Netball Carnival and Junior Touch Carnivals had helped introduce the idea of a university pathway for the younger players. 

“It was an incredible feeling to look over the playing courts and see them filled with Indigenous university students. Our young ones playing netball or touch have been able to look over at them and think, ‘I can do that too.’”

For more information on the Indigenous Nationals click here  


About Indigenous Nationals  

National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) began in 1996 as a joint class project between 13 students enrolled in a Diploma of Aboriginal Studies (Community Recreation) at the then Wollotuka School for Aboriginal Studies, The University of Newcastle. 


Now referred to as Indigenous Nationals, the event is a week-long multisport competition for indigenous student-athletes. The annual event aims to bring together student-athletes from universities across Australia to compete in a variety of sports and crown one university team the champion of the games. Indigenous Nationals is an amazing environment to not only celebrate the rich sporting culture of indigenous Australia but to also acknowledge the heritage and history of the participating student-athletes.  


About UniSport  

UniSport Australia (UniSport) is the peak body for university sport in Australia. 43 universities are members of UniSport, representing a population of over one million students. UniSport’s ambition is to become an integral partner to Australian universities and to deliver an outstanding student experience at our national intervarsity competitions.   

More information on UniSport:   

For more information please contact:  

Kylie Bloodworth  

Marketing and Communications Manager  

Mobile: 0449 949 916  

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