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7 Dec 2023

Celebrating Reconciliation in Education: Narragunnawali Awards 2023

Image credit: Tom Hoy, Wirrim Media

The Narragunnawali Awards 2023 show that Australian schools and early learning services have once again raised the bar for reconciliation in education. The nominees were celebrated in a vibrant awards ceremony, honouring their unwavering commitment to championing reconciliation within their school and early learning service communities.

Every two years, the Narragunnawali Awards recognise the most dedicated and thoughtful approaches to reconciliation in education nationwide. Supported by the BHP Foundation, the awards highlight the Narragunnawali program's vision of education communities actively engaging future generations in the reconciliation process by placing Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander histories, cultures and perspectives at the heart of learning.

Held on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra/Kamberri, the awards event brought together educators and advocates to discuss with honour the nominees for outstanding reconciliation in education efforts. The celebration showcased the dedication and achievements of finalists from across Australia.

This year's schools category winner is Winterfold Primary School, Noongar Country (Beaconsfield, WA). In the early learning category, the award went to Stirling District Kindergarten, Kaurna Country (Stirling, SA). The winners exemplified excellence in education through innovative practices and strong community engagement.

The judging panel, chaired by Sharon Davis, praised the winners for their proactive approach to anti-racism and successful embedding of Indigenous perspectives in the curriculum.

‘Schools and early learning services are 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.’

The Narragunnawali Awards of 2023, true to the word's meaning of peace and coming together, have once again highlighted education's vital role in reconciliation and building a unified Australia. In case you missed it, view the Narragunnawali Awards 2023 livestream recording here.

The awards event was preceded by the Reconciliation and Education: Past-Present-Future forum, co-hosted by Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali and the University of Melbourne’s Ngarrngga project teams.

Over 100 representatives from across the education sector attended the forum to discuss the many critical junctures of the past, present and possible futures of reconciliation and education in Australia. Read more about the forum here.