A West Australian school has been awarded the state's top honour for using education to move towards reconciliation with the nation's first people.
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19 Nov 2013 - 7:48 PM  UPDATED 20 Nov 2013 - 1:46 AM

(Transcript from World News Australia Radio)

A West Australian school has been awarded the state's top honour for using education to move towards reconciliation with the nation's first people.

Coolbinia Primary School integrated Aboriginal culture throughout the school, but didn't try to avoid learning about the tragedies of the past.

Ryan Emery reports.

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In the courtyard of their suburban school, five minutes from the city of Perth, Coolbinia Primary School students gather around a mural.

It depicts the six seasons in the south west of Western Australia as the Noongar people see them.

The students, who are trying to match their handprints on the artwork, were guided by Noongar artist Peter Farmer.

He's talking to the students about his favourite season.

"My season is Birak, so it's very hot and it's time when we go out and grab the goanna and have a bit of a feed on the goanna. It's very good. It's a bit of a medicine for us Noongar people. We go out and certain parts we eat. The fat we eat. So it picks ourselves up."

Coolbinia has earned Western Australia's highest honour at the PALS awards - Partnership, Acceptance, Learning and Sharing.

The PALS program runs throughout the state.

Coolbinia includes Aboriginal education from kindergarten to year 7.

Mr Farmer says some other schools he's visited still have a way to go.

"The kids were just shocked to see me walk in. There's an Aboriginal person in the school. The understanding of me being at this school, they knew a bit about the Noongar culture, but what I taught them and a little bit more they really took that home and shared with their families."

"That one's turning orangey. They have to be this red colour."

The school also has a bush tucker garden.

"Ah, there's a blue tongue lizard."