Internationally acclaimed dance troupe, the Nunukul Yuggera, has won this year’s Dance Rites competition at the Sydney Opera House.

The dancers from Queensland took out first prize of $20,000 in the two-day competition held on the weekend.

The Meuram Murray Island Dance Group were the runners up and won $5000.

Best wildcard dance and $3000 went to the Buuja Buuja Butterfly from the Wiradjuri nation and the Djirri Djirri dancers from the Kulin nation were awarded the Rites of Passage Award and $4000.

Fourteen dance troupes from across Australia took part in the annual dance off.

Sydney Opera House head of First Nations programming, Rhoda Roberts, said dance was a museum, library and school for First Nations people.

“At a time when so much cultural knowledge is at risk of being lost, dance is an important way to keep lore alive, to pass it down from one generation to the next and from one community to another,” she said.

By Wendy Caccetta