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Yarning Circle

The Yarning Circle was auspiciously opened at Alexandra Hills State High School in November of 2012.
The Yarning circle is dedicated to Sam Smith, who gave so much to students at this school, while she was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher aide. 

It is recognized by the six large painted wooden poles and large sand stone blocks set in a circle.
The ground where the yarning circle is was blessed by an Aboriginal elder at a smoking ceremony which cleansed the area, cleansed the participants, and recognised the desecration of land and culture since white settlement.
Oodgeroo  Noonuccal’s grandson performed the smoking ceremony.
In the school context it is a place where students and teachers can have a casual or deep conversation about something or anything… But the truth is always spoken in a yarning or talking circle.
Traditionally a message stick or Power instrument is passed around and held by the speaker and when the speaker is talking the circle listen deeply and respectfully.
Yarning circles can be used in formal and less formal situations. Lore(law) making, meeting new people, conducting regular social gatherings and for family or staff meetings.
The purpose of a Yarning circle is for all people to be able to speak and to be hear in a safe and respectful environment on equal footing with all speakers and listeners.

The Yarning Circle Process:

• One person speaks – everyone else listens
• Speak respectfully to everyone at all times
• Not one person is to be in a power of power
• Only the person holding the power instrument may speak
Everyone must ‘check in’ using the sentence starters below:
• I am …….Natashya
• I am …….from Capalaba
• I feel ……excited to be doing my first yarning circle
• I think…. today will be a great day to meet new people
Everyone must ‘check out’ using the sentence starter below:
“One thing I learnt today that I didn’t know before is…….”
(Everybody in the circle must participate)