• National Reconciliation Week aims to break down boundaries between Indigenous and other Australians. (AAP)Source: AAP
A new education program about Indigenous history and culture has been launched at this year’s National Reconciliation Week to foster relations between First Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
Andrea Booth

27 May 2015 - 10:00 AM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2015 - 4:02 PM

The Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning program has been designed to spur Australia’s future to better understand the plethora of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and their more recent contributions to the country.

The program, run by not-for-profit organisation Reconciliation Australia, which aims to break down the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, is expected to reach more than 21,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools across Australia.

"Making sure that reconciliation starts in early learning and schools is really important," said Reconciliation Australia CEO Justin Mohamed.

"The future of our country lies in their hands, and if we are serious about reconciliation, we need to inform them as soon as possible, that way we are breaking stereotypes, opening up understanding, sharing our history and respecting each person’s contribution."

Narragunnawali (narra-gunna-wally) is a word from the language of the Ngunnawal people from southern Australia now known as Canberra area. There is no direct translation of narragunnawalli into English but it means roughly peace, alive, wellbeing and coming together.

"Making sure that reconciliation starts in early learning and schools is really important" 

Australian Human Rights Commission Chief Justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Chief Justice Mick Gooda endorses the program: "It has the potential to educate and inform, and change attitudes and behaviours. I hope it will be instrumental in achieving reconciliation."

Reconciliation involves building positive, respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians; enabling us to work together to close the gaps, and to achieve a shared sense of fairness and justice.