Yarning Circle provides La Salle students a space to share

11 May 2023

La Salle College’s Yarning Circle officially opened on 27 March, providing a space where Aboriginal students can connect with their culture. has always been a priority of the La Salle College community.

The official opening took place in the presence of special guests General Br Armin Luistro, Visitor Br Timothy Peter, Nan Roma Winmar, Vaughan McGuire, and Vanessa Corunna. 

The Yarning Circle was designed and planned by Aboriginal students, who worked with artist Athol Farmer to paint the six Noongar seasons on pots and plant natives, creating a welcoming meeting space for current and future Lasallians. 

The event began with a candle lighting ceremony to signify the importance of this new space, followed by a smoking ceremony led by Vaughan McGuire. 

Class of 2022 graduate, Tomasina was involved in the planning and design of the yarning circle said: 

‘The yarning circle is good because we can share our stories and teach our culture.’ 

Non-indigenous students have commented on the importance of this space. 

‘It is important because we get to acknowledge our indigenous friends and learn about their history and the land that we live in.  

‘We love that they are willing to share their knowledge with us and it makes us more aware of the culture.’ 

Principal, Giovanna Fiume said: 

‘It was a privilege to have La Salle Brothers Armin and Tim and so many local Elders in attendance to mark and celebrate this important college event. Br Armin said that La Salle College in Middle Swan is part of a much larger Lasallian community, a world community and it made us feel proud to be a part of this community. 

‘Community is a key feature of the education at La Salle and through the new Yarning Circle, the hope is that students and the local community will use the space to meet, share stories and knowledge that help to build stronger connections that ignite a sense of belonging not only in the Lasallian community but in the world community too.’ 

Yarning Circle Project Leader Bethany Farmer said, ‘Having the yarning circle provides a connection to ‘home’ for our Aboriginal boarders and day students. I am proud to see the College acknowledging Aboriginal culture and providing more opportunities for our students and staff to learn about Aboriginal culture and practices. 

‘I hope that the yarning circle provides that sense of home and community for our Aboriginal students and a sense of joy for them in sharing traditional customs (like campfire cooking) with peers and the wider school community. 

‘The yarning circle is already being used for educational activities and I am excited about what we have planned for National Reconciliation Week in May and how we will use the space to grow our college wellbeing program.’ 

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