Former Geelong footballer Nathan Djerrkura has credited Robert de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Program for helping find his proud Wangurri aboriginal voice.

Djerrkura’s heavy contribution to community since graduating from the 2013 IMP squad has been rewarded as the face of this year’s Father’s Day Warrior Run participation medal for taking placing on Sunday 6 September.

The Indigenous Marathon Foundation fun run is an event designed to celebrate male leaders, but especially fathers as great role models.

The event has evolved over the years to feature an Indigenous-focused festival as a way to offer a unique cultural experience to people from all walks of life.

“Nathan was a terrific ambassador of Aboriginal culture and introduced the club to his country and his people in 2006,” Geelong’s General Manager of Community Sarah Albon said.

“The club started visiting the region as part of its player development program. 

“The North East Arnhem Land region is now formally aligned with the Cats academy and talent pathways programs are run across the region as well as the opportunity to deliver key health messages through the Club’s community programs.

Djerrkura made the brave decision to stand aside from football early to rediscover his own culture and indigenous identity.

“As a father, it is important to be a positive role model in my son’s life and to set good examples, teach him right from wrong and to respect yourself and others,” Nathan said.

“As a leader in community, I think it’s important to lead by example - I believe actions speak louder than words.”

“The Warrior Run is not just about fathers, even though we celebrate it on Father’s Day, but it’s an opportunity for us to showcase the importance of having good, strong men in our lives.”