Commitment to reconciliation in education

Reconciliation Australia is today proud to launch the Narragunnawali Awards 2019 for exceptional commitment to reconciliation in education.

The Narragunnawali Awards were established in 2017 to recognise and celebrate schools and early learning services that demonstrate dedication and commitment to implementing reconciliation initiatives in the classroom, around the school or service and with the community. They are the first and only national awards program for reconciliation in the early, primary and secondary education sectors.

Schools and early learning services that display exceptional commitment to reconciliation are encouraged to nominate, with prizes including $10,000 to support the winners’ reconciliation initiatives and a short film vignette showcasing the reconciliation initiatives in their school or early learning service.

The inaugural Narragunnawali Awards, in 2017, were won by Queanbeyan Public School and Explore and Develop Penrith South, which both involved their broader communities in reconciliation, and highlighted local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and languages in day-to-day school activities.

Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine, said that historically educational institutions had perpetuated myths and misinformation about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and for this reason, the Narragunnawali Awards take on a particularly important place in Australia’s reconciliation process.

“Education is critical to how we understand and think about reconciliation; the earlier we have these conversations the better,” said Ms Mundine.

“Reconciliation Australia advances reconciliation through five key dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity.”

“It is clear that education plays a powerful role in progressing reconciliation in Australia. Education is the key to broadening perspectives and cultivating understanding of reconciliation – each of these five dimensions can be progressed on a daily basis in classrooms around Australia.”

“The Narragunnawali program has seen over 3,400 schools and early learning services across the nation commit to developing a Reconciliation Action Plan to drive positive, whole-scale change in their local educational communities.”

Ms Mundine encouraged those schools and early learning centres that strengthen community relationships and build respect, and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories to nominate.

“Celebrate your successes, challenges and share your reconciliation stories; this is what these awards aim to do,” she said.

The two award categories are:

  • Schools: including primary, secondary, senior secondary and combined schools within the Government, Independent or Catholic sectors.
  • Early Learning: including early childhood education and care, preschool, family day care and out of school hours care services.


Nominations for the Narragunnawali Awards 2019 can be made online here. Nominations open Friday 1 February and close Friday 10 May 2019.

Reconciliation Australia

Reconciliation Australia is an independent, national, not-for-profit organisation promoting reconciliation by building stronger relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education

Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education is a program of Reconciliation Australia, dedicated to supporting all Australian schools and early learning services to develop environments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.

Narragunnawali (pronounced narra-gunna-wally) is a word from the language of the Ngunnawal people, Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and waterways of the area on which Reconciliation Australia’s Canberra office is located.

The Narragunnawali Awards

Reconciliation Australia, in partnership with the BHP Foundation, holds the Narragunnawali Awards biennially to identify, celebrate and promote outstanding reconciliation in the education environment and to share the success across the country.

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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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