Schools Reconciliation Challenge

Now in its 14th year, the Schools Reconciliation Challenge is an annual writing and art program for young people across NSW and the ACT.

The Schools Reconciliation Challenge is one way for students to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia and contribute positively to Australian society, while meeting the objectives of the K-6 and 7-10 syllabus.

Every year, we ask students to create artworks and stories inspired by a theme, and to reflect on what reconciliation means to them.

The 2023 Schools Reconciliation Challenge: What Stories Will You Dream?

Stories are how we understand the world around us. They inform what we know and shape how we act. The Australia we live in today is built upon the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Throughout the long history of what is now known as Australia, the world’s oldest living cultures have told and shared stories of culture and Dreaming; stories of hurt and devastation; stories of strength and resilience; stories of change; and stories still unwritten.

In an Australia where racism still exists and health and educational outcomes are significantly poorer for First Nations peoples, this year’s theme asks teachers and students to consider how we can advance the work of those who came before us in creating a fair and equitable society.

What story will you dream for reconciliation?
How will you contribute to making it a reality?

Register your classroom or school in this year’s Schools Reconciliation Challenge. We have many useful lessons and activities available to support your classroom planning.

Registered schools will also receive FREE access to exclusive workshops in the coming months. The challenge will be open until Friday 1st September, 2023, giving educators time to prepare their students to enter artworks that reflect stories, dreaming and reconciliation.

This year we invited schools to learn, share and participate!

Visit our Schools Reconciliation Challenge website and begin to explore What Stories Will You Dream? 


– Explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dreaming stories and their cultural significance.

– Research significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have contributed to change throughout history.

– Learn about the historical events that have advanced reconciliation in Australia.

– Consider how they can contribute to creating the future stories of this land through; increased understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, languages and histories; understanding and calling out racism; showing up for First Nations peoples and causes (such as the Uluru Statement); finding ways to connect with local Aboriginal culture and communities.


In 2023, we encourage all participating schools to engage with the lesson plans and activities, and additional resources we have gathered for this year’s challenge to inspire your students to draw, paint, write or sing about their increased knowledge and understanding of the theme What Stories Will You Dream?

The Schools Reconciliation Challenge Regional Tour

Current Exhibitions

Reconciliation NSW in collaboration with the National Trust NSW invite you to view the 2021 ‘Under One Sky’, Schools Reconciliation Challenge artwork exhibition.

On tour from April to August 2023, the exhibition will be visiting the Blue Mountains, Dubbo and Maitland check out the Reconciliation NSW events calendar for tour updates.

The exhibition is the culmination of works created by High School and Primary School students across NSW and the ACT which communicate each year’s theme, along with student learnings about reconciliation.

Past Themes and Catalogues

2009-10 Reconciliation, the Road Ahead

2011 You Me Us

2012 Our Place

2013 Say Something!

2014 Our Journey

2015 Homegrown Heroes

2016 Always Was, Always Will Be

2017 Where’s Your Country?

2018 Our Voices, Our Future!

2019 Speaking and Listening from the Heart

2020 Caring for Country 

2021 Under One Sky: Yesterday, Today and Forever

2022 From River to Sea: Our Island Home

Visit the Schools Reconciliation Website

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