Indigenous People Do Surf!

Joanna Carruthers

Indigenous People Do Surf!

Surfers take on Bells Beach in bid to dispel myth Indigenous people don't surf

Posted on 30.05.2017

Some of the country’s best Indigenous surfers have converged on Victoria’s famous Bells Beach for the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles.

In its sixth year at Bells Beach, the titles is as much a cultural event as it is a showcase of the depth of talent in Indigenous surfing.

For local Indigenous surfer Anthony Hume, it is a modern-day gathering.

“The surfing element is just to showcase the talent — it’s like the warrior part of it.

“It’s like family reunion and everyone connects, they love their culture, they love their surfing.”

The event features a bevy of past champions from New South Wales, including Otis Carey, Russell Molony and Summer Simon along with masters champion Robbie Page.

A former pro surfer, Page was a trailblazer for Indigenous surfers, winning the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii the 1980s.

But Indigenous surfing fell on hard times a decade later, with the national titles being scrapped through lack of support.

Jordie Campbell is a competitor and one of the organisers who resurrected the Australian Indigenous titles and has seen it grow in strength.

He also runs the Surfing Victoria high performance program and Indigenous surfing program across the state, which provide an important pathway for Indigenous people through a strong cultural connection with the ocean.

“We’ve always been considered as footy players, ball sports, runners, all that kind of land-based activities and through this event we’ve been able to showcase some of our amazing Indigenous surfers,” he said.

Source
ABC News

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