Yarn Bark is a First Nations led organization supporting First Nations Communities and Young People to heal and realize their inherited strength, knowledge and capacity to live holistically healthy lives through connection to culture, community and country. Working to build resilience to external societal pressures, behavior's and perceptions and relinquishing First Nations Peoples from entrenched intergenerational trauma and sadness and reinstating purpose and belonging.
Yarn Bark is committed to forging deep connections between First Nations Peoples and Communities and Non – Indigenous People who live and work across these traditional lands now known as Australia. We facilitate these connections through transformational experiences that create energetic and spiritual spaces for all people to connect to the essence and heartbeat of First Nations Culture, Methodologies and way of being, ultimately forming the fundamental and often missing basis of any relationship required for non – Indigenous people wanting to work and engage with First Nations People and Community.
Yarn Bark embody First Nations wisdom, values and deep spirit connection to be felt and experienced across all aspects of our organization operations, engagement and service delivery.
Yarn Bark was Founded by Peek Woorroong Keerraay Woorroong First Nations Man, Will Austin, after experiencing a number of suicide related deaths and attempts in his direct and extended family and broader community throughout his lifetime.
As a result of having a father who was a member of the stolen generations and denied the right to connect to his culture and identity for over 18 years, Will understands what it is like to grow up disconnected, confused and in constant search of connection, belonging and meaning.
After working across First Nations Communities for a number of years, Will has commonly heard that when our people are disconnected or lack a sense of purpose or belonging, we begin to turn to and experience seductive aspects of the world we now live in today such as drugs, alcohol, materialism and violence in many forms. Leading to a broad range of negative health outcomes. Many of which are now deemed to be a crisis.
As First Nations People’s, we know that purpose and belonging can be found in culture and community.
Yarn Bark has been established to facilitate and create spaces for individual and collective healing, where our people can begin to free themselves from intergenerational cycles of trauma and disadvantage through connection to self, others, culture, country and community. Further on, to realise that our wisdom is critical to this Nation moving forward.
We see the forging of authentic and meaningful relationships between First Nations and non Indigenous peoples as one important element to this healing journey.
We are guided by a genuine sense of admiration and appreciation of self, others and land (country) and traditions.
The quality of being yourself at the very deepest possible level. Your true self guides your ways of being and interacting in the world.
We create environments that inspire individuals and groups to strengthen their linkages and bolster the essence of what their foundations are built on.
We exist to support the creation of safe and caring places of purpose, belonging and connection for all people to express and thrive.
Cultural Engagement Principles
Koytpa Koy Koy - Storytelling
Storytelling comes in many forms of expression for First Nations Peoples. Arts, Craft, Song, Dance and Verbal Yarns amongst many more. Storytelling is a natural ability of all First Nations Peoples and at a deeper level represents successful knowledge systems and ways of learnings that have resulted in a cultural continuation for thousands of generations. Storytelling at collective and personal level is a critical wellbeing and healing tool.
Storytelling is weaved in to the approach we take in co-designing programs, initiatives, workshops and experiences for First Nations Peoples. Storytelling is critical to relationship building, establishing connections and understanding the context and history of the people, communities and organizations we work with.
Walatha Ngarrakeetoon - Embrace Family / Community
Critical to First Nations Culture is the mindset of collective and of community, as opposed to thinking about the individual experience and success. Places that facilitate a coming together of community, often become places of connection, purpose and belonging. To fully achieve wellness or healing, a mindset of collective and togetherness of family and community must be embedded and felt deeply in the experience.
We aim to create a sense of community, purpose and belonging for all people involved in our co-design projects. We want our co-design teams to feel like family, connected around common values. We embrace the knowledge that exists within all the communities we operate in whilst endeavouring to see a “whole of family” and “whole of community” approach and representation in projects and initiatives we create.
Ngooyt Walapa Woorrootna - Heal Past Pain
Due to the the effects of colonization our people are experiencing complex, compounding and intergenerational trauma that requires attention and deep healing. Due to the compounding nature of this trauma experience the possibility of healing a lot of the time feels unachievable. By incorporating this principle into our design, our intention is to create spaces that allow for healing to naturally occur.
We acknowledge that the First Nations People we work alongside in our co-design processes are experiencing intergenerational hurt, pain and suffering in some capacity, all of whom are at different stages of their own healing journey. We are here to support that journey by creating safe co-design spaces that integrate cultural methodologies of healing and well-being.
Wampa Poontyan Ngeyee Pernmeeyal Tilopan - Bring Alive Our Spiritual Spark
First Nations Peoples are deeply spiritual and aware people. Due to the compounding effects of colonisation it is becoming harder and harder for our people to connect to and embrace this contagious and uplifting spiritual spark that is critical to our survival and cultural continuation. This principle is about helping our people to rediscover and live life with that spiritual spark in their hearts.
We are committed to bringing an empowering, contagious and spiritually uplifting energy to the work that we do. We are here to awaken the spirit of our people. This starts in the co-creation of the spaces we hold.
Kanang Wanga - Deep Listening
Deep Listening is very unique methodology that exists within First Nations Culture. For First Nations Peoples it is a comfortable state of being that sees us needing to sit in silence in order to reflect inwards and outwards, allowing space for deep connection, awareness and listening to self, soul, ancestral messages, country and external powers and energies.
We are here to listen deeply do the voices of the people, communities and organisations we work with. We are here to co-create and acknowledge we do not have all the answers. It is our role to enter the flow of your river, not create a disturbance to the current. Our ability to listen deeply allows us to make informed decisions that represent the needs of the people we are co-creating for. We value the wisdom and deep spiritual connection and guidance of our ancestors which often requires deep listening and trust.
Wayapa Meerreeng - Connect to Country
First Nations Peoples are of the collective understanding, that we are not above or below the natural environment, we are a part of and equal to. We deeply understand the concept that if the country is not healthy and well, then us as humans cannot achieve holistic health and wellbeing. Connection to Country and Place is a fundamental element of purpose and belonging.
Developing a connection to the country and places of which we conduct our work is a non negotiable. We seek to understate the context and history of the lands in which we engage with. At a deeper level we seek to incorporate activities, stories and practices within all our co-design initiatives that are centered around connecting to and looking after the country in which they are held. Utilizing country as a physical place to gather on throughout our co-design processes allows for deep listening and spiritual guidance in the development of meaningful initiatives for our people.
Join Our Community
Join our community of people from all walks of life who are committed to connecting deeply to Australia's First Nations History