Celebrating outstanding reconciliation in education initiatives in Australia
Schools and early learning services leading the way for fostering knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions were celebrated at the Narragunnawali Reconciliation in Education Awards in Canberra last week.
The awards are part of Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali Reconciliation in Education program that has engaged more than 11,000 Australian schools and early learning services (42 per cent) with their resources and information to deepen their capacity to foster reconciliation in the classroom and in the community.
Reconciliation Australia, in partnership with BHP Foundation, holds the awards every two years to promote outstanding commitment to reconciliation in education and to share these inspirational stories across the country.
Speaking at the awards presentation ceremony, BHP Foundation’s Australia Program Director Victoria Thom said, “We need a well-informed and active citizenry who understand and own our history, and we need relationships across communities and sectors that foster trust and mutual respect.
The Narragunnawali Program is already making that happen. Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said it was wonderful to witness the profound contribution that the education system was making towards a more just and reconciled Australia.
“I can see these changes happening in our education system,” said Ms Mundine. “Young Australians are opening their hearts and gaining the skills to effectively contribute to reconciliation.”
“This is why events like the Narragunnawali Awards are so important. It is about celebrating educators and community members out there, doing the hard work, learning and unlearning, and creating lasting relationships.”
Narragunnawali Awards winners
The awards recognize exceptional commitment to reconciliation and were selected from over a hundred applicants. The winners of each category are:
- Schools category winner: Winterfold Primary School, on Noongar Country, Beaconsfield, Western Australia.
- Early Learning category winner: Stirling District Kindergarten on Kaurna Country, Stirling, South Australia.
Finalists were acknowledged for strengthening relationships, building respect, and providing meaningful opportunities in the classroom, around the school or service, and with the community.
Chair of the judging panel Sharon Davis said they appreciated the finalists’ efforts to address anti-racism in their settings and to build strong and respectful relationships with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Watch the compilation reels featuring all finalists for both the schools and early learning categories.
Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education is supported by the BHP Foundation Australia program, which aims to shape a more equitable and sustainable Australia through a focus on Indigenous self-determination and the wellbeing of children and young people. Learn more.
Narragunnawali (pronounced narra-gunna-wally) is a word from the language of the Ngunnawal people, Traditional Owners of the Land on which Reconciliation Australia’s Canberra office is located. Narragunnawali means alive, wellbeing, coming together and peace, and is used with permission of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council.