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Indigenous surfing star receives Young, Black and Proud scholarship

Proud Noongar man Landen is a junior competitive surfer and one of our 2022 Young, Black and Proud scholarship winners.

At only 15 years old, Landen recently competed in the Australian Indigenous Surfing titles in Bells Beach. He placed 1st in the Under 18 Men’s shortboard category and 1st in the Open Men’s longboard category, taking home the title of Australian Indigenous Champion for 2022.

He’s a Surfing Queensland state title gold medalist and represented Queensland at the Australian Surf Championships held in Port Macquarie earlier this year. He will also represent Queensland at the upcoming Australian Junior Titles at North Stradbroke Island in November 2022.

“I live to surf. I spend most of my time training and competing in surfing events. One day I hope to become a professional surfer,” Landen says.

“My heritage is from the Noongar people in Western Australia but I am living on Gubbi Gubbi Country now. Surfing really allows me to connect with Country, I feel at home when I’m in the water”.

Most recently, Landen was one of six top athletes selected to be a part of the Surfing Queensland Academy in the lead up to the Australia Junior Surfing titles.

“It’s an incredible honour to be selected. I am excited to be able to train at this elite level,” he said.

“These competitions can be expensive and my parents have given up a lot so that my siblings and I can take part in sports. It won’t be easy for my family to get me to all these events. With the assistance of this scholarship I will be able to compete and represent my culture on the highest level.”

Dingirra Warrai – Dancing on the Waves

Landen was also recently involved in a surfing wellness program called ‘Dingirra Warrai’ – Dancing on the Waves as an Indigenous Youth Leader. During this program he was responsible for teaching and mentoring primary school aged children in the surf.

The program highlights the connection between surfing, Indigenous culture, wellness and also mental health. It encourages young mob to get out onto Country and connect with the land and sea.

“It was a great opportunity for me to give back to my community. I loved sharing the ways I connect to Country through the waves with the younger generation. Representing my culture and my community is one of the most important things to me and I go above and beyond to make sure I am repping my people at every opportunity,” Landen said.

This year we partnered with the Queensland Family & Child Commission (QFFC) again to award 16 scholarships across the South-East Queensland region.

To read all about the awards ceremony and the other winners, click here.

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