30 June 15Hope Terdich

Meet Adrian

Meet Adrian Hepi!

With the 20th Annual National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games beginning this weekend, DUSA is back to celebrate more of our athletes!

This time we have a very interesting team member story to share, Adrian Hepi. Adrian is completing a Bachelor of Nursing; he has spent most of his working career dedicated to providing Health services for the Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islander peoples across remote, rural and now urban Queensland. He has long had a passion for teaching, and upon completion of his Bachelor degree (with 1 subject left!) he has plans to complete his doctorate in Mental Health.

Adrian’s commitment and passion for the Indigenous games extends back to his original position of Captain and Coach of the James Cook University (Nth Qld) in Rugby League from 1981-2011. DUSA is proud to have such an experience and knowledgeable team member representing Deakin at the Indigenous games!

DUSA interviewed Adrian and read on for his story!

Tell us about yourself?

I have a large extended family in Torres Strait, Queensland, New South Wales and Aotearoa. My family on my father’s side were bought to Australia from 1814-1827 living at Rangihau Parramatta Blacktown Native Institution and marrying into the Darug people.

My mother’s people are the Stewart family and are from the Northern NSW Bandjalung people, South Coast and Leperouse, Sydney. My wife’s family are from Alliyialis family from Greece, Croatia and Fraser Island - Butuhla People, who were removed from there under the Protection Act to Yarrabah.

We have 7 children, 1 dog - Luigi Giovanni Mussolini Cassino Hepi, who is a former servicemen like myself, and a rag doll cat called Cassie.

What will be your role at the Indigenous games?

I will be attending this year as an elder/manager, in addition to being the number 1 support and timekeeper; I attended the first Indigenous Games, and have captained and coached James Cook University, North Queensland and tertiary sides in Rugby League as mentioned earlier.

In Cairns 2013 I was given the honour of addressing participants and staff with Professor Stanley Nangala. This year it will be great to catch up with my colleague and friend, the Dean of Wollatuka - Dr Peter Radoll.

Have you competed for Deakin before?

No I haven’t but looking forward to returning to Newcastle University as a member of James Cook University - Rugby League team. We won the Australian University Rugby League Competition and beat NSW that year. I am looking forward to catching up with friends and family and supporting the DUSA Dragons.

I Iove the opportunities that the Indigenous Games offers; sport, culture, dance, language, sharing, networking, but for me personally, the opportunity to provide mentoring and support to fellow students attending is the most rewarding aspect.

In the end, it is not about winning a game, because by participating in sport, culture and higher education we are all winners.

DUSA wishes Adrian Hepi and the Indigenous Games Team good luck!