Naru Surf Gathering Takes out Award at 2021 Australian Surfing Awards

Shakira Westorp, four times ISA SUP champion, congratulates Amber Mercy.


LAST week the Naru Indigenous Corporation, operating the Naru Surf Gathering programme, took out the Indigenous Surfing Community Celebration Award at the 2021 Australian Surfing Awards.

The annual Naru Surf Gathering has been underway since its inception at NAIDOC Week in 2017.

Naru’s Amber Mercy told News Of The Area, “We have proudly raised funds and awareness for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention as a part of our Gathering.

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“Mental health awareness and wellbeing is at the forefront of running the gathering and community days.

“In 2020 we knew we needed to adapt and decided that we could build so much more for the community we live in and surrounding communities.”

It was from there that the corporation proudly launched the Naru Goori Groms which averages fifty young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in attendance from various communities on the mid north coast and throughout NSW each Goori Grom Day.

“November 2020 was our biggest Gorri Grom Day with over eighty kids giving surfing a go,” said Ms Mercy.

“We have to cap our days as we want to ensure we are able to provide a fantastic day for all involved.

“Our passion is creating a safe and inviting space for our community/communities to engage in Surfing as a form of wellbeing, healing and connection” she said.

Ngaarlu (Naru) means water in Gumbyanggirr, explained the team behind Naru Surf Gathering.

“The Ocean is a significant aspect of our culture and the benefits of promoting a healthy lifestyle in an open and safe environment is our goal.

“We want to see changed generations and if you have ever been to one of our days the transformation before and after entering the water- it is so tangible and real.”

Ms Mercy added, “Naru was also a surfboard brand used in the 90’s shaped by my father Eric Mercy and his friend Ian Rooney.

“The decal we use on our events is the original designed by Jeremy ‘Mudjai’ Devitt that was used on the surfboards.”


By Sandra MOON

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