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Yarning circle to inspire dialog, cultural sharing at Mt Barker Community College

Mt Barker Community College students will have a new place to share conversations at school, with the addition of a yarning circle to their campus.

The yarning circle, located in a patch of bush at the back of the school, was completed in the school holidays and opened for students last week.

Using a yarning circle is an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and is a space where cultural knowledge can be exchanged within a group.

MBCC principal Andrew Fraser said the yarning circle was suggested by a staff member, with construction beginning in January by a team of inmates from Pardelup Prison Farm.

Mt Barker Aboriginal Progress Association chair Joy Ugle provided cultural advice during the development of the project.

Mr Fraser said the circle had already been in use since the return of the school term.

“The first time we used it was when we had our attendance awards for Aboriginal students and families, so that was a nice first event,” he said.

Mr Fraser said the yarning circle would also be used by classes to facilitate group discussions.

“Basically it’s for any classes who want to use it as an outdoor space to have classroom conversations,” he said.

“And I’m sure we’ll use it in the warmer months when we have parent nights and engagements with parents, we’ve got another lovely facility to go and sit and have conversations at.”

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