Held biennially, the Narragunnawali Awards represent Australia’s first national awards program that recognises exceptional commitment to reconciliation in education across the country. The Awards have been designed to recognise and celebrate educational environments – across the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors – that have implemented outstanding and genuine reconciliation initiatives. These schools and early learning services will be acknowledged for the ways in which they are strengthening and building relationships, respect, and providing meaningful opportunities in the classrooms, around the school or early learning service, and with local communities.

Award Categories

Schools: this category incorporates primary, secondary, senior secondary and combined schools within the Government, Independent or Catholic sectors.

Early Learning: this category incorporates early childhood education and care, preschool, family day care and out of school hours care services.

The next Narragunnawali Awards will be held in 2021. 

2019 Finalists and Winners

Reconciliation Australia, along with our Judging Panel, are pleased to announce the Finalists and Winners for the Narragunnawali Awards 2019:


Early Learning Category                                                Schools Category

Winner: Forbes Preschool (NSW)                                Winner: Maclean High School (NSW)
   Finalist: Barefoot Early Childhood (QLD)                    Finalist: Moolap Primary School (VIC)
                                                                                                              Finalist: Tamborine Mountain State School (QLD)


Congratulations to these inspiring schools and early learning services, and many thanks to all those who submitted a nomination this year! It is wonderful to learn more from the growing community of practice around reconciliation in education! 


“We were impressed by the calibre and creativity of the nominees this year. The important work that these children, students, teachers and broader communities are doing is part of a broader movement of Australians learning, unlearning and relearning our shared histories in schools and early learning services around the country” – Karen Mundine, CEO Reconciliation Australia

Early Learning Finalists


Forbes Preschool

Schools Finalists


Maclean High School

Judges 2019

Geraldine Atkinson


Geraldine Atkinson is a Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman who has devoted her career to expanding the possibilities available to Koorie people through education. Geraldine is President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI). Geraldine has made a significant impact in the area of Early Childhood, and has always regarded education as being the best instrument of progress.

Peter Buckskin


Professor Peter Buckskin is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. For over 40 years Professor Buckskin’s passion has been the pursuit of educational excellence for Aboriginal peoples. Peter is Dean of Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects at the University of South Australia.

Sharon Davis

Bardi Kija

Sharon Davis is a proud Bardi Kija woman who is committed to enhancing the Catholic education experience for Aboriginal students, families and communities in Western Australia and strengthening Aboriginal education for the benefit of all. Sharon is currently leading Aboriginal Education for Catholic Education Western Australia.