Reconciliation Australia is proud to launch the Narragunnawali Awards 2019 to recognise exceptional commitment to reconciliation in education across the country. Held biennially, the Narragunnawali Awards represent Australia’s first national awards program for reconciliation in schools and early learning services. 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.



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


Early Learning Finalists                                                Schools Finalists

Barefoot Early Childhood, QLD                                                 Maclean High School, NSW
Forbes Preschool Kindergarten, NSW                       
               Moolap Primary School, VIC
                    Kelly's Place Children's Centre, NSW                                       Tamborine Mountain State School, QLD


Congratulations to the Finalists and many thanks to all schools and early learning services who submitted a nomination this year! 
The Judging Panel will be visiting each of the finalists in the coming months to determine the Winners.

“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


The following schools and early learning services were commended by the Judging Panel:


Early Learning (Commended)                                                         Schools (Commended)

The Friends Child Care Centre, East Lismore, NSW                      Mossman State School, Mossman, QLD
Goodstart Early Learning Elizabeth Vale, Elizabeth Vale, SA         Lloyd Street Primary School, Malvern East, VIC
Evans Head-Woodburn Preschool, Evans Head, NSW                  Goondiwindi State School, Goondiwindi, QLD



Past Winners


In November 2017, Reconciliation Australia announced the Winners of the inaugural Narragunnawali Awards at a presentation event held on Ngunnawal Country at the University of Canberra. The event was attended by representatives from each of the Finalist schools and early learning services and was live-streamed to our national audience on Reconciliation Australia’s Facebook page. Each of the 2017 Narragunnawali Awards Finalists were commended for their exceptional commitment to driving reconciliation in their school and early learning communities.

2017 Early Learning Winner


Explore & Develop Penrith South

2017 Schools Winner


Queanbeyan Public School


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.