Reconciliation Australia invites ECEC services to nominate for Narragunnawali Awards

Reconciliation Australia invites ECEC services to nominate for Narragunnawali Awards

by Jason Roberts

February 03, 2019

Reconciliation Australia has launched the Narragunnawali Awards 2019 for exceptional commitment to reconciliation in education, encouraging early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to apply.

The Narragunnawali Awards were established in 2017 to recognise and celebrate early learning services and schools that demonstrate dedication and commitment to implementing reconciliation initiatives within the service, and with the community. They are the first and only national awards program for reconciliation in the early, primary and secondary education sectors. The awards are held biennially in partnership with the BHP Foundation.

Early learning services that display exceptional commitment to reconciliation are encouraged to nominate, with prizes including $10,000 to support the winners’ reconciliation initiatives and a short film vignette showcasing the reconciliation initiatives in their service.

The two award categories are:  

  • Early learning: including ECEC, preschool, family day care and out of school hours care services.
  • Schools: including primary, secondary, senior secondary and combined schools within the Government, Independent or Catholic sectors.  

Nominations for the Narragunnawali Awards 2019 can be made online at: www.reconciliation.org.au/narragunnawali

Nominations close on Friday, 10 May 2019.

The inaugural Narragunnawali Awards, in 2017, were won by ECEC service Explore and Develop Penrith South, and Queanbeyan Public School, which both involved their broader communities in reconciliation, and highlighted local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and languages in day-to-day activities.

Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine, said that historically educational institutions had perpetuated myths and misinformation about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and for this reason the Narragunnawali Awards take on a particularly important place in Australia’s reconciliation process.

“Education is critical to how we understand and think about reconciliation; the earlier we have these conversations the better,” said Ms Mundine. “Reconciliation Australia advances reconciliation through five key dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; and, unity.

“It is clear that education plays a powerful role in progressing reconciliation in Australia. Education is the key to broadening perspectives and cultivating understanding of reconciliation – each of these five dimensions can be progressed on a daily basis in classrooms around Australia.”

“The Narragunnawali program has seen over 3,400 schools and early learning services across the nation commit to developing a Reconciliation Action Plan to drive positive, whole-scale change in their local educational communities.”

Ms Mundine encouraged those schools and early learning centres that strengthen community relationships and build respect, and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories to nominate.

“Celebrate your successes, challenges and share your reconciliation stories; this is what these awards aim to do,” she said.

Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education is a program of Reconciliation Australia, dedicated to supporting all Australian schools and early learning services to develop environments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions. Narragunnawali (pronounced narra-gunna-wally) is a word from the language of the Ngunnawal people, Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and waterways of the area on which Reconciliation Australia’s Canberra office is located.

For more information, including how to apply before 10 May 2019, visit the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education website.   

Resources to help promote the awards within your ECEC service, can be found here.

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