Australian schools and early learning services with a passion for reconciliation in education have been selected as finalists for the Narragunnawali Awards 2023.
Held every two years since 2017, the Narragunnawali Awards celebrate outstanding commitments to reconciliation in education.
A part of Reconciliation Australia, the Narragunnawali program supports all schools and early learning services in Australia to champion reconciliation and foster a high level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contributions.
Finalists were selected by a judging panel of eminent First Nations educationalists: Sharon Davis, Geraldine Atkinson, and Joe Sambono.
The panel recently met last week to assess the shortlisted applications and applauded the level of commitment to reconciliation in education from schools and services across the country.
The judges were impressed by the finalists’ use of local Aboriginal languages, their embedding of reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into the curriculum and their strong relationships with local Elders and communities.
Chair of the 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.
“Schools and early learning servicesare increasingly becoming places that are welcoming for First Nations students and families as education gets serious about reconciliation.
“The impact of the initiatives demonstrated by these finalists cannot be overestimated on the broader Australian society. These schools and services present a brighter future for our students and the country,” Davis said.
“The Narragunnawali program is a catalyst for change; for a better and fairer Australia.”
Finalists in the Schools category:
- Winterfold Primary School – Noongar Country, BEACONSFIELD, WA
- Kwoorabup Nature School – Noongar Country, DENMARK, WA
- Kellyville Public School – Darug Country, KELLYVILLE, NSW
Finalists in the Early Learning category:
- Stirling District Kindergarten – Kaurna Country,STIRLING, SA
- Wyong Preschool Kindergarten – Darkinjung Country,WYONG, NSW
- Little Beacons Learning Centre – Wurundjeri and Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Country, PAKENHAM, VIC
The judges also commended the following schools:
- Lismore High School, Wijabal Wyabal Country,NSW
- Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, Wurundjeri Country,VIC
- Hawthorndene Primary School, Kaurna Country,SA
- Goodstart Shailer Park, Jagera and Yugambeh Country,QLD
- Kinda-Mindi Early Learning Centre Claymore, Dharawal Country – NSW
- MacGregor Outside School Hours Care, Turrbal and Jagera Country, QLD
The judging panel will now visit each finalist to determine the winners in each category.
The Awards ceremony and a reconciliation in education forum will take place on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra at the National Museum of Australia on Friday 24 November.
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.