Robert Apanui

Rugby league has been one of the greatest constants in the life of Burleigh Bears stalwart Robert Apanui.

He's played it since he was five and now, at 31, he's using the Queensland Murri Carnival to add an exclamation mark to his final season in the Intrust Super Cup (Queensland Cup).

This weekend, Robert's playing for the Gold Coast Dingoes, a team that has grown from the Wollumbin Warriors. The Warriors came together ten years ago to compete in the Inaugural NSW Aboriginal Knockout.

"Having won this event in 2007 in Lismore, we held the rights to host this event in our home lands of Tweed/ Kingscliff 2008," Robert said. "The Wollumbin Warriors playing group was drafted from our family and friends that all share the common interests in Rugby League. My brother Selwyn and I, along with Irwin 'Dingo' Appo, helped form this side ten years ago. "We have competed every year since 2002 but this year decided to support the first inaugural Queensland Murri Carnival 2011."

This has been a year of note for Robert and family. Aside from his Queensland Cup finale, 2011 was the year that his late mother, Virginia Apanui, and grandmother, Sadie Bellear, were inducted into the Minjungbal Hall of Fame. They join many of Robert's uncles and aunties, and he says his Mum's honour is especially well deserved.

"Our father passed away when we were very young and, having 5 young boys, Mum taught us how to grow up and look after your family," he said. "We had a lot of family support".