Mosman Park Primary School has been selected as one of three schools in Australia to be named a finalist for the Narragunnawali Awards – the only national awards program that celebrates Australian schools and early learning services that have outstanding reconciliation initiatives.
The school was recognised for its work on its Reconciliation Action Plan, which is designed to ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and awareness around the vital cultural issues facing the country.
Some of the initiatives in the school’s plan include flying the Aboriginal flag and using Noongar language in the school, including in the school song and on signage.
There is a focus to support staff with knowledge, resources and planning assistance to ensure they take every opportunity to teach Aboriginal culture and history.
The school also engages with Aboriginal families who provide support and knowledge of culture and language, and an Elder who also sits on the school board.
Mosman Park Primary School Associate Principal Pamela Chatfield said the whole school community was excited to be a finalist for the award.
“We are very proud of our team including the students, parents, staff and community who have put in a lot of effort and energy around our Reconciliation Action Plan,” she said.
“Our school has some Aboriginal students and we feel we owe it to them, and to all our students, that we honour our First Nations people by teaching about Aboriginal culture and history.
“We think it is an essential step toward a positive future for our country if our young people are equipped with the knowledge and awareness around the vital cultural issues facing Australia.
“We want our students to be productive and kind citizens of the world in the 21st Century and we believe they need to know the truth about Australia’s long history, the sustainable practices of the Aboriginal people and racial equality. Our Reconciliation Action Plan is a first step towards that.
“Our students are being taught to listen deeply, learn about issues that matter to us all and lead others to spread the word.”
Year 5 student Jordyn Pickett performs the Acknowledgement of Country in both Noongar and English at every assembly or school event.
“I’ve noticed that some Aboriginal people haven’t joined in before but now, since the RAP, others are letting Aboriginal people join. We’ve also been learning more Aboriginal language and we are doing more Aboriginal culture ideas for NAIDOC,” Jordyn said.
Year 6 student Tyson Blurton is the Aboriginal Student Leader.
“We learnt the school song in Noongar and in my class we have learnt about Aboriginal art and how the symbols can be used to tell a story. We also now have an Aboriginal flag at school too,” Tyson said.