The Yarning Circle® story
Yarning Circle® Creator, Lee Townsend, is an Aboriginal woman born and raised in Blacktown, NSW. During her role with the Commonwealth Employment Services she was involved with young people looking for work. Many of these young people needed assistance in gaining the necessary skills to participate fully in today's modern world. Lee set her heart on giving them that assistance. Making a life-changing decision she redirected her career and joined the Australian Catholic University to study Primary School Teaching.
After gaining a diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, Lee went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree, and later, relocated to the North Coast of NSW. It was there that she became an Aboriginal Education Teacher and began to realise her dream of helping children to learn the skills that would sustain them throughout their lives.
As Lee continued to study she gained a greater understanding of the omissions in our educational and social development programs in relation to Aboriginal children. There was little opportunity for the children to relate stories from their own experiences. There was little opportunity to express a point of view to a chosen audience. There was little opportunity to have a true voice and to be heard.
Giving children — and adults — the chance to have a voice and be heard became Lee's vision. The Yarning Circle® is the realisation of that vision. The Yarning Circle® is a place where stories and knowledge can be shared in a caring environment that's relaxed and comfortable. A place where each of us can participate to our own level, in our own time and by sharing our own unique journey.
Join a Yarning Circle; have a Yarn with old friends and meet new friends too. The Yarning process is for everyone and benefits us all — young people, Elders and everyone in between!