STUDENTS and teachers at St James' Primary School in Muswellbrook are now able to enhance their understanding of Indigenous culture as they sit around their newly constructed Yarning Circle, funded by Malabar Resources.
A Yarning Circle is an important part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and a harmonious and collaborative way of communicating. It promotes respectful relationships and provides an open environment to share cultural knowledge.
In August Malabar designed and installed the Yarning Circle which involved the placement of more than 5000kg of sandstone blocks.
"We are so thankful to have this designated place for our CREST Crew to meet and yarn," said St James' Aboriginal Education Teacher, Tania Thompson.
"When we meet as a whole group from K-6 around the Yarning Circle, it gives students the opportunity to bond, form strong ties, and unite as one mob.
"Communicating, sharing and problem solving as a team are some of the extremely important life skills that we refine when meeting for Yarning Circle.
"We learn to listen to one another and to respect the ideas and opinions of others regardless of their age, as we all have wisdom to share."
The new space was enthusiastically received by students.
"Thank you for this amazing and respectful area where we can teach others about our customs and traditions," said year 6 student Tushawn.
Malabar's manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Donna McLaughlin, also praised the project.
"We are delighted to continue building our relationship with St James' and other schools in the region by providing resources that help their specific needs," she said.
"We look forward to seeing the Yarning Circle develop as native plants and artwork are added to the space, which will further facilitate cultural learning and understanding."
St James' will use the Yarning Circle as an extension of their classrooms and teaching practice to foster knowledge of Indigenous culture by engaging both indigenous and non-indigenous students and teachers.