Bundaberg Regional Council joined Community Elders to welcome autumn with a Yarning Circle and a tour of Alexandra Park Zoo last month.
The council run seasonal Yarning Circles are a chance for Elders to meet and greet councillors and discuss issues in the community.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s cultural development officer Selina Hill developed the idea last year and said the catch ups were a modern take on a traditional practice.
“Traditionally, a yarning circle came from ceremonial circles,” Selina said.
“So, there was men’s business, women’s business, then they came together for shared tribal business and celebration of song and dance.
“Today, we live a contemporary lifestyle so we’re using the yarning circle concept from long ago as a way to come together and just have a good old yarn.”
The Yarning Circles are being held with Community Elders from Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Childers, and celebrate the season from a cultural perspective.
“You can’t go past having a good yarn, good food, good company.
“It’s just a way of bringing our Community Elders together and as a means for our councillors to get to know our community elders,” Selina said.
Community Elder Selwyn Johnson has attended most Yarning Circles so far and said they are a way to keep culture in the community.
“A lot of young people seem to have lost the need to keep spreading our culture,” he said.
“As Elders of our community, we want to keep our culture going and bring our young people back into that understanding about our culture.”
Selina chose to have the Yarning Circle at the zoo to reconnect with the animals and Country.
“Because as an Aboriginal, we are the voices for our plants and animals so reconnecting our Community Elders with the animals at the zoo brings back a bit of the old heart and looking after each other and looking after Country,” she said.
Everyone is welcome to attend the next Council Yarning Circle in June.
“As a means of sharing information there’s no better way than to get around a yarning circle.
“A yarning circle is always a welcome space and it’s a place where everyone’s voices belong.”
If you would like to attend, call Council on 1300 883 699 and request to be added to the Yarning Circle SMS list.
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