Community members came together with Indigenous Elders to hold one of the first ‘Dakku Kan’ Yarning Circles in Katherine, last week.
Rembarranga Elder Nellie Camfoo hosted the circle with her granddaughter, Elder Miliwanga Sandy and guest facilitator Bea Ballangarry, following requests for a safe space to explore supporting children, led by Indigenous leaders.
“Katherine was extremely fortunate to have the first Yarning Circle co-facilitated by three very knowledgeable and acclaimed Aboriginal Elders and leaders,” project facilitator and Intensive Family Support Worker at Save The Children, Pip Gordon said.
“The diversity of those that attended and the positive feedback we have received reinforces the need for experiential learning opportunities that support those working with children and families in any capacity, to develop cultural awareness and engagement skills,” she said.
Hosted at Save the Children’s Play2Learn centre in Katherine last Friday, the Yarning Circle established cultural protocols and a safe space for conversation and sharing of stories.
“The Yarning Circle concept comes from a time when community engaged through sitting together, yarning up, holding important community meetings, where listening to stories and respecting Elders was customary,” Ms Gordon said.
Following the success of the first event, weekly circles will be led by Miliwanga Sandy and Nellie Camfoo, with each session covering new topics.
“Countrymen and organisations need to be working together to make things happen for the betterment of our people, especially our children,” Ms Sandy said.
Visiting Gumbayngirr Elder from Coffs Harbour, NSW., Bea Ballangarry reinforced the importance of circles in communities to support positive outcomes for children and families.
“Community solutions and stronger families will happen when we provide a place for people to speak easy and freely. This means we can come together and have a safe conversation where we respect each other’s history, values and concepts of knowing, this is community capacity building,” Ms Ballangarry said.
The ‘Dakku Kan’ Yarning Circles will take place every Thursday from 10.30am to 12:30pm at Save the Children’s Play2Learn Centre, in Katherine.
“All community members are welcome who have an interest in listening and sharing, to grow in understanding of cultural ways,” Ms Gordon said.
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