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ICC Sydney launches ‘Yarning Circles’ event series

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ICC Sydney launches 'Yarning Circles' event series
Sydney’s major convention venue ICC Sydney has launched ‘Yarning Circles’ for its staff this week to mark NAIDOC Week, with the circles to take place on the first Tuesday of every month through to the end of the year.

Yarning circles are an important part of Aboriginal cultures, offering an opportunity for collective learning.

Delivered in collaboration with ICC Sydney’s community partner KARI, the venue’s staff will take part in traditional Aboriginal cultural practices like weaving, artefact making, dance, stories and conversations.

The monthly initiative is designed to help increase cultural awareness amongst staff at the convention centre, with participation to be widened to include event organisers and other venue stakeholders. Yarning circles will also be added to ICC Sydney’s industry-leading Legacy Program.

This week’s yarning circle was a weaving workshop delivered by Anna Gannon, who works for KARI.

“Our gratitude goes to KARI and the First Nations Elders who have taken the time to share knowledge with our team from our pre-opening period right through to this week’s Yarning Circle,” said ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy.

“As an iconic destination, which stands and operates on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation – the land of Tumbalong and the waterway of Gomora, on what is known today as Darling Harbour – ICC Sydney strives to truly reconcile with First Nations People through our business practices and the commitments we have made through our second Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Through Yarning Circles, we aim to build cultural competency in our team members, and to educate and inspire our clients, visitors and local community to do the same. In striving for reconciliation through this practice, we hope to connect our team with the rich knowledge of First Nations Elders and community members that has been passed down over tens of thousands of years, as well as their vibrant, contemporary lived stories and experiences.

“In time, and through our Legacy Program, we hope to inspire event planners to engage KARI to provide this dynamic and enriching experience for their attendees as they tap into the profound resource of First Nations Elders.”

KARI’s chief operating officer, Cain Slater, said it had been an honour to work with the venue on the event series.

“As a long time partner of ICC Sydney, KARI welcomed this opportunity to deepen our relationship with the team to deliver Yarning Circles where we will introduce visitors to the traditions of our revered Elders and broader community,” he said.

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