What does Yarning mean?
Yarning involves respectful active listening and learning to create an ongoing culture of reflection, from the co-definition of priorities to formalising mechanisms for, and responding to, feedback.
Yarning requires open dialog where the facilitator is an active participant. To receive information, the facilitator is expected to share information as an equal participant and partner in the Yarning process.
Proper and effective Yarning requires a Relationship and an understanding of Place. It also includes communicating the outcomes of decisions or processes if communities are invited to participate.
It may be that a good Yarn takes time. It requires consideration of time and may mean that evaluators need to return. Ensuring space and time for Yarning requires the support and views of Aboriginal people locally.
What are some practical examples I can use to embed this Guiding Principle?
Practical application of this Framework will look and feel different across the many contexts and environments of the NSW public education space. Everyone is encouraged to embrace the Framework and determine what the Guiding Principles mean for the work we do.
- Create and use safe Places for Yarning. This could be within a school or office or organising meetings at external locations. For example, provide a Yarning Circle at your school and have meetings with Aboriginal families there, or go down to the local footy on the weekend and talk to the families that engage with your school in a neutral space. Yarning in safe Places helps to build trust and authentic Relationships. It may also be appropriate to ask a local trusted Aboriginal organisation if they are able to provide a space for Yarning.
- There is no one size fits all approach. Understanding nuance and context is important when you are Yarning with Aboriginal people, their families and communities. Yarning is a living conversation, requiring active listening, learning and genuine responses.
- Plan to Yarn. Yarning in evaluation leads to genuine listening and sharing of information, including creating a safer space for respectful, open and honest information sharing. Yarning creates a cultural space for genuine engagement with people, leading to a better experience for all stakeholders. Yarning takes time and the trust needed for open and honest sharing might need to build over several Yarns. Plan plenty of time to Yarn into your evaluation plan.
Why is Yarning important?
Sheena Coe, Parent, Bellambi Public School, shares her thoughts on the value of Yarning.
James Ballangarry, Postgraduate Student and Associate Lecturer, Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle, talks about the opportunities Yarning gives for building Relationships and shared understanding.
Andrew Griffiths, Principal Evaluator, Evaluation and Effectiveness Unit, highlights the value of Yarning in evaluation.
Owen Dalkeith, Principal, Brooke Avenue Public School, talks about how Yarning helps to build strong Relationships with families and benefits students.
Want to know more? Share your feedback through the QR code so the Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate Team can ensure that we are building the resources you need to be culturally responsive in evaluation and school planning.
If you would like a presentation for your Directorate, please contact email@example.com