Stirling District Kindergarten wins award
The Sector > Provider > General News > Stirling District Kindergarten wins early learning Narragunnawali Award

Stirling District Kindergarten wins early learning Narragunnawali Award

by Freya Lucas

November 27, 2023

Stirling District Kindergarten, on Kaurna Country in South Australia, has been named as the Early Learning winner of the 2023 Narragunnawali Awards. 


The awards recognise and celebrate Australian schools and early learning services that are implementing outstanding reconciliation initiatives, running for the fourth time in 2023. 


Reconciliation Australia Board Member Sharon Davis said the staff at Stirling Kindergarten drew the attention of the judging panel with their passionate commitment to reconciliation, and the level of respect they afford to members of the local Kaurna communities. 


“The use of the local Kaurna language and Stirling’s engagement with Kaurna Elder, Uncle Tamaru who teaches the children Kaurna language, and knowledge about ceremony, culture, plants, and animals is a great credit to the service and the families it serves,” they said.


“Over the history of the awards and in my time working with the Narragunnawali program, I have witnessed incredible stories of schools and early learning services putting relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, cultures and communities at the heart of their institutions.”


“Like so much else, often teachers and educators have achieved this with little in the way of resources and time.”


The other winner was Winterfold Primary School, on Noongar Country, Beaconsfield, Western Australia, who won in the schools category. 


Finalists were: 


  • Kwoorabup Nature School Noongar Country, Denmark, WA 
  • Kellyville Public School Darug Country, Kellyville, NSW 
  • Wyong Preschool Kindergarten Darkinjung Country, Wyong, NSW 
  • Little Beacons Learning Centre Wurundjeri and Bunurong-Boon Wurrung Country in Pakenham, Victoria.


Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said she was heartened by the outstanding reconciliation work going on in schools and early learning services across the country.


“After the disappointment of the referendum result it is wonderful to witness the profound contribution that these places are making towards a more just and reconciled Australia,” she said.


“There is still so much work to be done to enable a greater understanding of our history and the legacy of colonialism which still haunts so many First Nations people.”


“I can see these changes happening in our education system. Young Australians are opening their hearts and gaining the skills to effectively contribute to reconciliation.”


This, she continued, is why events like the Narragunnawali Awards are so important. 


“It is about celebrating educators and community members out there, doing the hard work, learning and unlearning, and creating lasting relationships.”


The awards were presented on Friday 24 November at a ceremony at the National Museum of Australia. The evening ceremony followed a forum investigating the past, present and future of reconciliation in education.


Narragunnawali is a Reconciliation Australia program which provides tools and resources for schools and early learning services to take action towards reconciliation between First Nations Peoples and other Australians.


Learn more about the Narragunnawali program, which already has more than 10,000 Australian schools and early learning services engaged, using this link.

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