College Announced as National School Leader in Reconciliation

Reconciliation Australia announced St Virgil’s College as winners of the third Narragunnawali Awards yesterday, recognising and celebrating the school and its implementation of outstanding reconciliation initiatives.

St Virgil's, on the Country of the muwinina people, was named as the nation’s leader in the schools category award, presented at the 2021 Australian Reconciliation Convention.

Mrs Heidi Senior said it was a special day in the life and history of the College, and we continue to walk hand in hand with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to achieve a just and reconciled island for all First Nation’s people.

She said this is a great platform to build upon our work to date and to re-set our goals for an even brighter future.

St Virgil’s was chosen for the way in which reconciliation is embedded at all levels and its exemplary inclusion of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in its work, and for prioritising caring for Country on its campus grounds.

The award judge recognised that we view reconciliation as a living, authentic and powerful means of achieving justice and peace for a collective future..

St Virgil’s was a finalist in the inaugural Narragunnawali Awards in 2017.

A part of College’s submission to the awards showcased the tunapri makuminya Project, created by young palawa scientist Jamie Graham Blair.

Jamie was initially commissioned by the College in 2020 to create a biocultural survey of the Austins Ferry campus, one in which we hoped to identify every plant species on the campus which was of cultural significance to Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

However, the final project was much larger and came to include conservation and regeneration suggestions and proposals to expand cultural practice and cultural learning opportunities within the surrounding landscape.

The tunapri makuminya Project provides the capacity to significantly strengthen and deepen learning programs both in the classroom and beyond.

Learn more about Reconciliation at St Virgil's College here.