Yarning Circle for Machans Beach
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 7, 8 October 2021, page no.23
We started on Machans Beach SS's Yarning Circle with our P&C committee, which accepted money from a grant to build a Yarning Circle for Reconciliation Week.
I and two First Nations' teacher-aides became involved, as we thought it was best to understand what a Yarning Circle is and where the best place was to create one at our school.
We began our journey working with Rangers from Dawul Wuru, who brought Elders from the community in to share their ideas and find the perfect spot for our Yarning Circle. Gavin Singleton began us on our journey and brought with him a number of Rangers and Elders who would potentially help in not only finding the perfect spot, but also designing it and opening it.
At the opening, Gavin’s father Dr Bernard Singleton said a Welcome to Country and talked about his life and how our Yarning Circle was a wonderful thing for our people and the community. Gavin and Bernard held a smoking ceremony and sang at the Yarning Circle. Gavin also addressed the congregation in traditional language - welcoming everyone and asking the Spirits to protect our Yarning Circle and to bless it. Senator Nita Greene, local state MP Craig Crawford and federal ALP candidate Elida Faith were also in attendance.
Each class created a "friendship" pole for the Yarning Circle, representing them, us as a school and the community. The designs were turned into mosaics and attached to the poles that stand proudly at the front of our Yarning Circle.
It has been quite a long journey, with COVID-19 impacting it throughout, but we finally made it, and our Yarning Circle is just the beginning of our journey.