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Engaging the practice of Indigenous yarning in Action Research

Bronywn Fredericks, Karen Adams


This paper discusses the technique of ‘yarning’ as an action research process relevant for policy development work with Aboriginal peoples. Through a case study of an Aboriginal community-based smoking project in the Australian State of Victoria, the paper demonstrates how the Aboriginal concept of ‘yarning’ can be used to empower people to create policy change that not only impacts on their own health, but also impacts on the health of others and the Aboriginal organisation for which they work. The paper presents yarning within the context of models of empowerment and a methodological approach of participatory action research. The method is based on respect and inclusivity, with the final policy developed by staff for staff. Yarning is likely to be successful for action researchers working within a variety of Indigenous contexts.


Anti-smoking, community development, yarnining, Indigenous research

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