Let’s Have A Yarn With Yarn program feedback and comments

  • I facilitated my first Yarning Circle on Tuesday with a year 5/6 class and it was AWESOME!!!

Lee, a huge thank you for creating such a FANTASIC program, you are too deadly sis! I am really excited to be able to implement it here and can't wait to use it with other classes next term.

Kristy Hay

Aboriginal Support Officer

  • Our Yarning Circle was fantastic, with all members of the year 5/6 class actively participating. As this was my first time facilitating and the first time that the majority of the participating students had even heard of the Yarning Circle, I tried to keep it simple and not too invasive. There are a number of students in the class with challenging behaviours and also some with some pretty intense home / family situations so this was taken in to consideration when planning for our yarning circle. The questions I used were: I was born..... , I live with..... and something that is important to me is.....

These questions worked well, with every student engaging in sharing some of their story with their peers. I was excited to see how the students all took on board what I had explained during our pre-circle yarn, with every one listening intently and respecting their classmate’s right to have a voice. It was great to see the kids all working together when the ball of yarn didn’t quite make its target and needed to be recovered from under our web. During our group activities the kids were switching places in the circle by crawling under the web, making sure that they held the spots of their classmates so that our web was maintained, we worked cooperatively to move our web from inside our school hall to a nearby grassed area, around a pole and back to our original spots in the circle all while keeping the shape of our web. I will be facilitating a yarning circle with this group on a weekly basis next term with our focus area being friendships. The students decided that they would like to have photos taken of each of the webs they create together so that they can put them up in the classroom to remind them of what they shared.

In addition to the obvious positive aspects of the process, it is at the end of the process that the kids, in my experience anyway, have been most "gobsmacked"! Taking ownership of the beautiful web that is made as a result of the participating in sharing knowledge. Many of them are in awe of just the physical "beauty" - different textures, different colours etc. But then, when you use the "web"   connection to challenge them about their capacity to support enable, lead, forgive - so many things - others, it’s the best thing I have ever used.

Aboriginal Support Officer

  • Thanks again for such a great professional learning on the Yarning Circle last Tuesday. Both Stacey and I returned to school and are excited about how we are going to implement the program.


Assistant Principal

Independent survey 2015
Comments and feedback from facilitators trained in the Let’s Have A Yarn With Yarn program
  • Using the Yarning Circle program I have worked with students on educational outcomes, social and behavioural issues. I have also used it with staff to share information and as a debriefing tool, and with parents and community members as an engagement process.
  • I was surprised how I can use this program to meet many different outcomes, with a range of people. The program works equally well with Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons.
  • Every group has had amazing stories but as I use the yarning program over a number of weeks with the women we get deeper and deeper into who they are, and the changes we make through hearing each other’s stories is amazing.
  • I was surprised at just how the yarning circles let the group yarn about things that are meaningful and not surface talk like about the weather. As a group we get into some really deep conversation, a meaningful level of engagement very quickly.
  • Sometimes I find that parents in needs often don't hear their children’s thoughts about what is happening in the family unit. This program allows everyone to share and listen to each other. Some parents have been surprised by what they have heard.
  • The whole family could be supported by this program and as a support worker I have not found another program that engages the parents and the children to share and grow.
  • The outcomes I feel I have achieved are the connection with people. I have been in many yarning circles with people I have only met on the day but the connection I feel with these people is amazing; to be able to connect to people by sitting in a circle connected with the yarn and to tell our stories.
  • I have used the program across all aspects of my life including my own family unit. It's exceptional in how it makes people feel safe and empowers everyone to participate and contribute.
  • I have been able to work with many different organisations and use the yarning circle program to share information about mental illness.
  • Yes I was surprised at the level of engagement and their willingness to talk within the Yarning Circles. I have worked with the different groups before through other programs and have not been able to get them to join in and share, but with the yarning program they shared their stories and experiences beyond my expectations.
  • I work in a number of different communities with troubled youth and the program has allowed me to enter into difficult conversations. The participants have showed different levels of growth but all of them improved in their behaviour within the group spaces.
  • I was asked to attend a first time fathers group so I decided to use the Lets have a yarn. I asked a couple of questions: What are the difficult things about being a father? What are the good things? Within maybe 10 minutes the men were talking about the relationship they had had with their own fathers and how important it was to learn from that experience in their own parenting.
  • The program has added a valuable tool to group work processes with children with excessive behaviour problems, including teenage boys with aggression/violence issues.