Frequently asked questions

About the Schools Reconciliation Challenge

What is the Schools Reconciliation Challenge?

The Schools Reconciliation Challenge is Reconciliation NSW’s annual art and writing program for young people in NSW and the ACT.

How do I find out more about this year’s Schools Reconciliation Challenge?

The Schools Reconciliation Challenge website contains information on this year’s theme, how to register and participate in the Challenge.  You may contact Reconciliation NSW via email at or phone 02 8095 9600.  

Key Dates

When is the Schools Reconciliation Challenge?

This year the Schools Reconciliation Challenge officially begins on March 2 and we will be accepting art and writing submissions until 25 September 2020. However, we encourage students and teachers to engage with the resources and activities provided on our website throughout the year.

When will the Schools Reconciliation Challenge Exhibition be held?

In 2020 the Schools Reconciliation Challenge exhibitions will be hosted in a new format and will include local school based exhibitions as part of the new program. Stay tuned for more information. The 2019 Schools Reconciliation Challenge Exhibition – Speaking and Listening from the Heart will tour Regional NSW  when COVID-19 laws change. To stay up to date on all Reconciliation NSW events and activities you can join us as a member or check us out on social media. 


What is the theme for 2020?

The theme for the 2020 Schools Reconciliation Challenge is Caring for Country.

In Australia, First Nations Peoples have cared for Country for over 120,000 years, maintaining Country by using a wide range of strategies, knowledges and technologies to manage land, water and resources to ensure that Country is cared for now and for generations to come. 

When we use the term ‘Country’ we are referring to the specific areas of land, sea and sky with which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities have a custodial, cultural and spiritual relationship.  

Registration and Participation

Who can participate?

The Schools Reconciliation Challenge is open to all young people in years 3-10 (or equivalent ages), Indigenous and non-Indigenous, of all abilities. Young people may enter the Schools Reconciliation Challenge through their school or independently.

How do I register my school?

Register your school for the 2020 Schools Reconciliation Challenge by emailing or visit for more details.

How do we get started?

  1. Begin with Explore 2020 theme and follow the session guides to inform your lessons about reconciliation and this year’s theme Caring for Country.
  2. Then do the activities in Create Art and/or Create Writing. Use these lessons to assist and inspire students to develop original artworks or stories which reflect their ideas about reconciliation and the theme Caring for Country.
  3. Submit artworks and stories by 25 September 2020 via the online submissions portal. Each entry must have a completed Entry Form attached.


Teaching Kit and Resources

How do I access a hard copy of the Teaching Kit?

In 2017, the Reconciliation NSW launched the Schools Reconciliation Website, which has replaced the hard copy version of the Teaching kit. Access the online Teaching kit at

How do I find out which curriculum outcomes the Schools Reconciliation Challenge covers/addresses?

The Schools Reconciliation Challenge covers BOSTES curriculum outcomes relating to English, History and Visual Arts for stages 3, 4 and 5. For further information about the Curriculum Outcomes for the Schools Reconciliation Challenge please visit at  


How do I submit entries?

Artworks and short stories created for the Schools Reconciliation Challenge are to be submitted by 25 September 2020. Writing and artwork submissions must be original creative pieces that relate to the 2020 theme Caring for Country and explore reconciliation more broadly. Entry requirements:

  • Artworks (2D or digital) must be a maximum size of A1 and accompanied by an Artist Statement
  • Writing must be a maximum of  500 words and must be accompanied by a Writer Reflection.

Submissions that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted.

Can students submit both art and writing?

Yes, students may choose to create artworks or stories or both. Please note that if students choose to submit both an artwork and story they will need to complete an artists and writers statement for each of their entries.

Teachers Click Here

Many of these resources and activities have been developed in consultation with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to ensure that the program meets NSW  curriculum outcomes for Stages 3, 4 & 5.