Swim a time for healing and honouring ancestors

The first indigenous team in the Rottnest Channel Swim.
The first indigenous team in the Rottnest Channel Swim.

The group was the first indigenous team of four swimmers to successfully complete the crossing from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest in a time of six hours and 49 minutes.

Paddlers Tiffany Ugle and Andrew Woolford guided the team of Brendon Moore, Dennis Simmonds, Vinka Barunga and Brianna Ozzies in the gruelling swim to the island.

‘The importance of why we celebrate this achievement is multi-faceted,’ coach Susanjane Moriso said.

‘Rottnest, or Wadjemup as it is called in Nyungar language, was formerly a place of great celebration, then with colonisation it was a prison for Aboriginal leaders, so the first Rottnest to Perth swim attempt was probably these prisoners trying to reunite with their family.

‘The swim to Rottnest was a healing and honouring of the ancestors who were incarcerated.’