ICC Sydney adds unique First Nations experience to program

In recognition of NAIDOC Week, the Centre has partnered with the KARI Foundation to add Yarning Circles to its Legacy Program.

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has marked National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week, with the launch of ‘Yarning Circles’, deepening its engagement with First Nations people and offering new event options for exhibitions held at the venue.

The Yarning Circle is delivered by Anna Gannon, a cultural support and training specialist at the KARI Foundation, and attended by Dharawal Elder Aunty Maxine Ryan, and offers participants the opportunity to learn about First Nations weaving techniques, while also sharing stories and conversation.

ICC Sydney has added the experience to its Legacy Program and has made it available to event organisers that want to offer valuable engagement activities to their teams and delegates as part of their event.

“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,” ICC Sydney chief executive officer and group director – convention centres, ASM Global (APAC), Geoff Donaghy.

“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 Foundation chief operating officer, Cain Salter, said this new experience builds on the long and beneficial association between ICC Sydney and the community non-profit.

“As a long time partner of ICC Sydney, KARI has 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,” Slater said.

This year’s NAIDOC week theme ‘For Our Elders’ highlights how Elders are a fundamental part of First Nations communities.

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