Building reconciliation in schools

Reconciliation Australia are pleased to announce a long-term partnership on the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools program with BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities. 

The program assists schools to increase knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and to strengthen relationships with their local Indigenous communities.

“Early childhood, primary and secondary schools play a very important role in developing positive relationships in the community and this new program will enable all Australian schools and early childhood settings to engage in teaching and learning about reconciliation,” Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive, Leah Armstrong said.

The cornerstone of the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools program is the online schools Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) builder. The builder helps schools to develop a RAP— a framework for action that drives important change in the classroom, around the school and with the community, based on the simple model of relationships, respect and opportunities.

The first phase of the Narragunnawali program will see the development of a teacher professional learning network and a range of curriculum resources produced specifically to address the Australian Curriculum, including a series of short films.

Ms Armstrong said the teacher professional learning network and curriculum resources will empower and support teachers to develop their own awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and give them the confidence to support reconciliation in their schools.

“The introduction of the Australian Curriculum, which contains the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, provides a great opportunity for us to help teachers in spreading the reconciliation message to future generations,” she said.

The Narragunnawali program builds on a long, successful partnership between Reconciliation Australia and BHP Billiton that began with the Indigenous Governance Awards in 2005.

“We’re extremely proud to partner with Reconciliation Australia on this important program to help schools engage further with reconciliation,” said Ian Wood, BHP Billiton Vice President Community Relations and Sustainability

Narragunnawali will provide school communities with the tools they need to increase understanding of the cultures and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and, over time, to bring all Australians closer together.”

Over the next two years the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools program aims to reach more than 200 Australian schools and their communities.

Narragunnawali is a word from the language of the Ngunnawal people, meaning alive, well-being, coming together and peace. Reconciliation Australia sought permission from the United Ngunnawal Elders Council to use the word Narragunnawali.

To learn more about Narragunnawali, please visit our website at

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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