Queenslanders invited to nominate for 2021 Reconciliation Awards
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services involved in Reconciliation initiatives in Queensland are being encouraged to nominate for the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk explained that all Queensland businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and government entities whose work acknowledges the State’s rich histories of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples and advances reconciliation can now be nominated.
“The Queensland Reconciliation Awards help to recognise the inspiring initiatives and partnerships which go above and beyond their core business to support reconciliation and make a tangible difference in the lives of Queenslanders,” she said.
Previous finalist, Wagner Road Early Childhood Centre and Kindergarten was recognised for forming a “collegial teaching and learning partnership” with Aboriginal Elder Uncle Joe Kirk. This initially began with visits by Uncle Joe to the centre, before developing into leadership initiatives which engage and provide examples to other early childhood centres and schools through local networking, statewide professional development delivery, as well as engagement with national peak bodies and initiatives.
The partnership has brought an enhanced understanding of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures for staff, children and families, along with the impacts of Australian history for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
These culturally responsive practices have helped students, teachers and parents learn about their role in advocating for and enacting reconciliation at classroom, operational and community outreach levels.
Rugby league personality Jonathan Thurston has been announced as the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards Ambassador. Mr Thurston has been involved in the program for many years, Ms Palaszczuk said, adding that it was “great to have his support again in 2021”.
Queensland’s Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the awards recognise the tireless dedication of Queenslanders towards reconciliation, and encouraged anyone who knows of, or who helps to deliver an outstanding initiative which promotes reconciliation in Queensland to nominate for the Awards.