Curriculum review: reconciliation in education

Reconciliation Australia is one of the eleven organisations that signed on to the Joint Statement of support for proposed revisions to the Australian Curriculum that progress reconciliation in education.

Strengthening the Australian Curriculum to support reconciliation in education, and a positive relationship between non-Indigenous students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is a step towards a reconciled nation.

We support the calls from First Nations peoples and educators for a stronger focus on the inclusion of First Nations’ histories and cultures, and for greater truth-telling in the Australian Curriculum.

A key recommendation in the curriculum review is to strengthen the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority. Aligned with two key goals from the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration, the cross-curriculum priority is relevant to all learning areas and year levels and seeks to:

  • provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the ability to see themselves, their identities and cultures reflected in the curriculum;
  •  and allow all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.

We support the proposed revisions that strengthen these goals.

According to Reconciliation Australia’s Australian Reconciliation Barometer, over 80% of the Australian community believe it’s important for First Nations histories and cultures to be taught in schools.

Each and every day, students across the country are engaging in a process of discussion, analysis and synthesis of historical and contemporary information to learn more about themselves as Australians and Australia’s place in the world.

Learning about the histories, cultures and contributions of Australia’s First Nations peoples is fundamental to learning about what it means to be Australian.

Curriculum changes that better honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and acknowledge the truths of Australia’s shared history, respond to growing recognition of the education sector’s responsibility to do more and do better to drive reconciliation across our nation.

Join us in supporting meaningful change by reading the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures consultation document and completing the short Feedback Survey on the cross-curriculum priorities by this Thursday 8 July 2021.


  • Correna Haythorpe President AEU
  • Karen Mundine CEO Reconciliation Australia
  • Dyonne Anderson President NATSIPA
  • Christine Cooper Federal Secretary IEUA
  • Peter Anderson Director NIRAKN
  • Malcolm Elliott President APPA
  • Andrew Pierpoint President ASPA
  • Dr Chris Matthews Chair ATSIMA
  • Dr John Davis CEO Stronger Smarter Institute
  • Samantha Page CEO Early Childhood Australia
  • Taryn Marks General Manager AIME

Download a PDF of the joint statement

Read the media release

Read more from Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali program.

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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