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New age in education unveiled with yarning circle

IT'S A space where the community can come together as one ... where stories are shared and all are welcome.

Members of the indigenous community, students, teachers and community members gathered at Toolooa State High School on Tuesday for the unveiling of the much-awaited Yarning Circle.

The Yarning Circle was designed by Toolooa High in consultation with local indigenous elders.

Construction was made possible largely to a $45,000 grant from the QGC Sustainable Communities Fund.

Principal Alan Whitfield described the day as an important milestone in the school's history.

"The space will encourage communicating and connecting with the land," Mr Whitfield said.

"This project really reflects Toolooa's commitment to providing a variety of learning opportunities, particularly an enhanced understanding of both the nation's past and ongoing relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians."

Indigenous elder Jacqueline Johnson said yesterday was a day of recognition.

"It is recognition of Aboriginal people, allowing us to have a prominent place in the school," she said.

"You see it, you can come now - it's opened the way for us to come together to talk to each and share our dreams."

Mr Whitfield said the space will be used as an outdoor classroom.

"Discussion is a strategy used by teachers," he said.

"The Yarning Circle model is highly regarded as a powerful process of lifelong learning and a process that can be transferred to high school education."

What is a Yarning Circle?

The Yarning Circle is the traditional method of communication for indigenous cultures, sitting on the land in a circle, using message sticks and a storyboard.

Topics:  gladstone region indigenous education toolooa state high school



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