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. 

2 Nov 2023


*This page was initially published in September 2023 to assist educational communities during the Voice to Parliament referendum. Despite the referendum's outcome, the pursuit of reconciliation in education remains crucial— now more than ever. Similarly, emphasising wellbeing continues to be a central aspect of our discussions, commitments, and collaborative efforts. The resources below, which focus on the referendum, education, and wellbeing, are still valuable for ongoing use. We invite you to explore the Narragunnawali platform further and stay engaged with the Narragunnawali team. Together, we strive to sustain and advance reconciliation both in and through education.*

While children and students may not yet be of voting age, the Voice to Parliament referendum provides an invaluable and historic opportunity to educate them about democratic processes and of the importance of actively listening to the voices and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Teach about the Referendum

Teaching children and students about the Voice referendum, and about the methods and effects of referendums more broadly, can support them to learn the significance of participating in democratic decision-making and prepare them for future civic engagement. This approach aligns with the Mparntwe Education Declaration’s call for “All young Australians [to] become... active and informed members of the community [who] possess the knowledge, skills and understanding to contribute to, and benefit from, reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Critically Evaluate Information

Part of this education includes learning to research and critically evaluate sources of information and to discern misinformation, helping students make well-informed choices while cultivating critical thinking and media literacy skills.

As the first referendum in Australia in the ‘digital era’, there's an overwhelming amount of information to sift through and numerous opinions to critically engage with. Misinformation can quickly spread in the digital age, skewing public understanding of the core principles and issues at stake. Verifying sources and seeking unbiased information is necessary to preserve the integrity of the democratic process and to ensure that the referendum's outcome reflects a well-informed public opinion.

Be Informed

To support learning about, and engagement with, the referendum process, the Reconciliation Australia website has a dedicated Voice to Parliament page, including the details on the history of the Voice; the proposed referendum question and guiding principles for the Voice to Parliament Bill; as well as links to various other key sources of referendum-related evidence, learning tools and fact-checking resources. You can catch up on our NRW 2023 breakfast panel discussion on this year’s theme “Be a Voice for Generations” moderated by Narelda Jacobs with Aunty Geraldine Atkinson, Craig Foster, and Semara Jose. Centering First Nations voices, both the SBS NITV and SBS On-Demand sites host a dedicated Voice hub page, featuring news clips, analyses and explainers about the referendum. Several universities such as ANU and RMIT, as well as the ABC, have fact-checking resources available. A more comprehensive list of resources relevant to diverse Education audiences is included at the bottom of this article.

Focus on Wellbeing

Maintaining a focus on wellbeing in the lead up to big decision-making processes such as the referendum, and while exploring and engaging with complex current affairs and issues, is vital. Fostering self-care, as well as the socio-emotional wellbeing of fellow staff, students and children enables safe and responsive teaching and learning about the referendum process, and the broader reconciliation movement. For examples of support for well-being relating to the Voice referendum, see ANU's Mental Health and wellbeing in the lead up to the Voice to Parliament. You can also utilise resources available through Beyond Blue's Be You, a national mental health and well-being initiative for Australian learning communities delivered in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia and headspace.

More wellbeing related resources available in our resources list below.


To learn more about the Voice to Parliament referendum, the role of education, and the importance of supporting wellbeing both before and after voting day, watch our Wellbeing and the Referendum webinar with special guests:

Karen Mundine CEO, Reconciliation Australia
Dyonne Anderson CEO, Stronger Smarter Institute and President of the
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Principles Association
Juanita Wilson, Inclusion & Equity Advisor - First Nations Communities, Beyond Blue

Visit Reconciliation Australia’s Voice to Parliament page for general guiding information and resources. A range of example resources relating to wellbeing and the referendum in educational settings are listed below

Early Learning:




If you need to reach out to someone:
Gayaa Dhuwi
13YARN on 139276
Healing Foundation
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890
QLife on 1800 184 527

Resources for First Nations Staff, Students, Families and Communities:

Schools and early learning services can share these to assist families and caregivers’ understanding of the upcoming referendum. For multilingual resources, visit Life Without Barriers’ and Polaron’s Referendum language initiative and see the Voice to Parliament - translated factsheets