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Deni Mob wins Community Clip Of The Year the NIMA award in Darwin.

By Olivia Duffey

A group pf local indigenous students, who call themselves Deni Mob, were in elite company on Saturday night when they won a National Indigenous Music Awards in Darwin.

The students were nominated in the 2019 Community Music Clip of the Year category for their song 'State of the Heart'.

The song and video were devised and created with the help of local Aboriginal elders and Desert Pea Media last year in a week-long workshop, supported by the Deniliquin Local Aboriginal Lands Council.

They were announced as one of just four finalists for the award country-wide last month.

Indigenous support teacher Ann-marie Hay said fellow teacher Kath Kirk were aware a few weeks before the event the local group would win.

It was kept from the students involved, and used as the impotece to do enough fundraising for all the children involved to go to Darwin for the awards.

"The students had no idea and they (event organisers) would only pay to get two of them there, but we wanted them all to go because they have done an incredible job as a team," Mrs Hay said.

"I am so proud of them and the community who got behind these students and raised enough to send all of the Deni Mob to the awards within 48 hours of seeking this assistance.

"The reaction of the students when the award was announced was absolutely priceless and I have the community and the Local Aboriginal Lands Council to thank for that opportunity.

"The students have really done the community and schools proud."

It was a huge weekend for the group exploring Darwin but the highlight of the trip for most was meeting Australian singing sensation Jessica Mauboy.

"Jessica Mauboy was at the event and I knew the students were desperate to see her. I was talking to a security guard who kindly offered for us to go backstage and watch her perform on the side," Mrs Hay said.

"When Jessica Mauboy finished, she came over and talked to us for about 15 minutes. One of our students had brought along a gift painted by his grandmother to give to her, which he was able to do.

"Jessica then watched our video and said it was wonderful before she spoke to the girls about being strong, being proud of their culture and becoming leaders within the community.

"The event was an amazing opportunity for the students and their encounter with Jessica Mauboy will be something that sticks with them and encourages them not only to keep creating, but to be proud of who they are."

Mrs Hay said she will organise a thank you morning tea in the coming weeks for all community members who supported and sponsored the students to make the trip to Darwin.