DARRAWEIT Guim Primary School has been working to improve connections with a safe space where students can speak without judgement.
A Yarning Circle is a part of Aboriginal culture and allows all students to have their say, with each participant encouraged to speak, one at a time, without interruption.
The project, through the school’s Kitchen Garden as part of the Environmental Studies program, is designed to help develop deep listening skills, knowledge sharing and establishing rules about respectful behaviour.
Teacher Jennifer Bryan said it was important to educate students on the significance of Aboriginal culture through hands-on experience.
“I’ve worked with Indigenous students in the past and I’m passionate about sharing the importance of learning about their culture,” she said.
“There are many external bodies involved in our project and we are hoping to complete it by the end of the term and have Wurundjeri elders out to complete a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony.”
The Yarning Circle project is also part of the ‘Kids Teaching Kids’ initiative, run by Earthwatch Australia. Landcare Australia is also involved in the school’s Environmental Studies program.
On May 26, the school will host Uncle Trevor Gallagher, a Gunditjmara Aboriginal elder, who will take students on a creek walk, complete a smoke cleansing ceremony, dance and sing, paint with ochre and light a fire with students to engage with the Yarning Circle.
On June 10, Nutrien Harcourts will present students with a ‘big cheque’ at the school assembly.
Ms Bryan thanked the sponsors of the project, Nutrien Harcourts Kilmore and Mitre 10, for their continued support since its beginning.
The community is encouraged to get involved with the project and people can contact Ms Bryan by calling the school on 5789 1234 for more information.