Consistent with the conference theme, Nature and People as One, SER2023 is pleased to include “Yarning Circles” (Discussion Circles) to enable an outdoor space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous conference delegates to safely share experiences and knowledge around designated themes. These discussions are intended to be Indigenous facilitated, or co-facilitated. Yarning Circles usually consider a particular theme for open deliberation, using a Talking Stick that is passed around to allow people within the circle to take turns to speak. For some circles, people may be invited in advance to share a particular example of work to kick off the conversation.

Delegate Participation

Yarning circle themes and engagement do not require anyone to submit abstracts or to limit their remarks to designated time slots; though the themes and facilitators provide some structure, the conversations are intended to evolve organically. If you are interested in proposing a theme or volunteering to facilitate one or more sessions, please email Tony at by 10 September 2023.

Yarning circle scheduling

Yarning circles will be scheduled during concurrent sessions. We may also hold an evening Yarning circle under the stars and around a fire pit (if allowable). We are seeking direction and engagement from the local Larrakia community on how to conduct the Yarning circles in a culturally sensitive manner, and we will invite them to be involved. If attendance is high during any particular session/theme, we will break up into smaller groups to maintain a more intimate and participatory setting. There will be no need to report back if a larger group breaks up into smaller groups to manage attendance size. The intent of the Yarning Circles is relationship building and learning from others.

Banner photograph by Gnangarra, CC BY 2.5 AU, via Wikimedia Commons