NAIDOC Week 2023: Connecting to the past and looking towards the future

Malachi represents the Bundjalung nation at the Virtus Global Games.

July 3, 2023

Every year across the country, Australians celebrate NAIDOC Week to recognise the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

While there have been lots of celebratory events across Aruma, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our awesome customer, Malachi.

Malachi is a proud young man of the Bundjalung nation who just returned from competing at the Virtus Global Games in Vichy, France, where he proudly represented his heritage.

“We are so proud of Malachi. At just 16 years old, this is a fantastic achievement! He was the youngest male on the athletics team and participated in the adult competition. To finish ninth (in javelin) and tenth (in discus) in the world is amazing,” said mum, Annette Sky.

Virtus Global Games are “the biggest international sports competition for elite athletes with intellectual impairment,” so to be chosen to compete in javelin and discus was a dream come true for Malachi.

The young sportsman was also selected to participate in the opening ceremony.

“Malachi was one of the Indigenous athletes chosen to carry the Aboriginal flag at the opening ceremony,” continued Annette.

This year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations theme is “For Our Elders,” which celebrates the role of Elders and their guidance, strength, and knowledge in communities.

Some of Malachi’s goals are to become more active in local Indigenous communities and deepen his cultural connection. Aruma Support Coordinator, Emma Vause, has worked with Malachi to achieve these goals.

“Malachi has been with Aruma for support coordination since 2019, and we have connected him to his allied health service, occupational therapist, and I am currently working on finding him an Indigenous support worker,” said Emma.

She continued, “A goal of Malachi’s is to connect with his culture, so I know his occupational therapist has been trying to find a program where he can take on a mentorship role with younger Indigenous kids.”

2023 will continue to be a big year for Malachi. He has also been selected for the Athletics Australia Targeted Talent Program and, like other Aussie 16-year-olds, is looking forward to completing year ten and earning his driver’s license.


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