Building reconciliation in schools
Reconciliation Australia is 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.