Get news on reconciliation in Australia, ideas for driving reconciliation in schools and early learning services, and highlights of great things happening in schools and early learning services across the country. 

16 Dec 2021

Reconciliation in the Media

As we come to the close of 2021, we look at some recent events in the media that have important bearing on reconciliation in education going into the new year, and beyond. 

Petition for truth-telling in the classroom
Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara musician Isaiah Firebrace has delivered a petition of over 289,000 signatures to Parliament House, urging the Government to implement classes on Australia’s true history in primary and secondary schools. 

“We need more education around Aboriginal history and cultures, and what my people have been through,” said the 22-year-old singer-songwriter, in an article in the National Indigenous Times. 

“The biggest dream is to close that gap and to keep fighting for Indigenous rights and help make my people seen.”

Labor’s Shadow Minister for Education, Tanya Plibersek, accepted the petition in front of Parliament House, alongside MPs Linda Burney and Graham Perrett.
His petition has now reached close to 295,000 signatures. Head to the petition to sign it yourself.  

First Nations music heats up
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music has been in the spotlight recently, with the range of talent on display at the 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs), and First Nations artists dominating this year’s Australian Record Industry Awards (ARIAs).  

Kamilaroi artist, The Kid Laroi, took home Artist of the Year at the NIMAs, while industry icon Kev Carmody was inducted into the Award’s Hall of Fame. 

At the ARIAs, Budjerah, who is a Coodjinburra man from the Bundjalung Nation, was named Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist of the year for his debut EP; while Archie Roach was honoured with Best Blues & Roots Album for The Songs of Charcoal Lane.

Head to here for the full list of winners at the NIMAs, and here for more information on this year’s ARIAs. 

Renaming to reconnect
Dual names have been accepted for three mountains and an island on the New South Wales’ far south coast, in recognition of the local Yuin nation. 

According to the ABC, the state's Geographical Names Board officially assigned the dual names of Gulaga for Mount Dromedary, Biamanga for Mumbulla Mountain, Barunguba for Montague Island and Najanuka for Little Dromedary Mountain using the local Dhurga language.

"It's a new step forward in reconciliation, cultural identity and the whole community coming together,” said Bunja Smith, a Walbunja Elder and Chair of the Biamanga and Gulaga National Park Board of Management, to the ABC. 

Read the full article to learn more about the significance of renaming for the South Coast.  

Wakakirri Reconciliation Story Award winners announced

The 2021 winners of the Wakakirri Reconciliation Story Award have been announced as Weir State School and Prescott College Southern School.

Supported by Reconciliation Australia, the Award is presented to a school for their Wakakirri Story-Dance and their community work to increase respect, reduce prejudice or strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.

On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, a massive congratulations to each of these schools on furthering reconciliation in education.