On the 16th of December 2020, the Watarrka Foundation was honoured to accept the Sports in Community Award at the first annual NT Community Achievement awards ceremony, held in Darwin.

The awards which launched in the Northern Territory in 2020 aim to recognise individuals and organisations who are making a difference within the Territory’s Community. Their goal is to provide a public opportunity to recognise all the efforts and impacts made by these individuals and organisations, and to raise awareness of the great work they are doing. 

The Sports in Community Award

The Sports Community award was given to the Foundation in recognition of the annual Sports and Storytelling festival, held each year in Lilla. The Foundation was recognised for the great impact the festival has on local Indigenous students who attend and learn about health and fitness. 

The Sports and Storytelling festival has been running since 2013, and involves children from Watarrka Primary School, Areyonga Primary School, Imanpa School, Finke School and Haasts Bluff School who travel to Lilla to take part in the 3 day event. The festival includes sports, drama, dancing, music, cooking and night time activities, all aiming to inspire the local children to attend school, eat healthily and maintain fun physical activities.

The children often leave the event asking when they can return, and what the plans are for the next year’s festival. Teachers at each school have commented on the amazing impact this event has on the student’s outlook towards physical health, nutrition and engagement with school activities and attendance.

Accepting the Award

Accepting the award was the Watarrka Foundation Founder, Reg Ramsden who flew up to Darwin from Alice Springs to attend the ceremony. 

Reg stated:

“It was great to be there on the night amongst many other philanthropists and inspiring organisations. I wasn’t aware that we had won the award before making the trip, so it was a wonderful surprise. There was a great feeling in the room that everything was about helping other people, and being there to support others within the community.

The Foundation has made some amazing impacts on the community and it’s great to be recognised on such a public platform for the work we are doing. I look forward to being a part of the event again in the future.”

Thank you to everyone who assists in bringing this event to life each year

The annual Sports and Storytelling festival wouldn’t be possible without the help and assistance of our partnering organisations as well as the participating school’s staff and students. 

Each year the Foundation works closely with the participating schools to organise finer details and ensure everything runs smoothly for the students during the 3 day event. We want to thank the teachers, principals and students from each of these schools for their time and efforts in organising the Festival, and their eagerness and engagement during their time at Lilla. 

We would also like to thank the team at Dentons Law Firm who hold multiple meetings in the lead up to the festival each year to work out logistics and volunteer support. Without the hard work of Campbell Hudson and his team, the event wouldn’t be possible. 

Our partnering organisations are the driving force behind the festival, so we would like to thank Dentons, Westpac, Poetry in Action, CareerTrackers, The Source Bulk Foods, NTAFL, Kitbag, Have a Ball Foundation and Remote Education Tours for their involvement and support over the years. 

We would also like to extend our deep gratitude to the Watarrka community, and the Traditional Owners of the land who allow us to hold the festival each year. 

To support the Foundation and our future projects, make a donation at www.givenow.com.au/watarrkafoundation

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