This is a significant time of the year for acknowledging and celebrating Indigenous culture. We are currently in the middle of National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week is just around the corner. It is an important time to learn about First Nations culture and confront the traumatic history of this country so that we can work on healing country and reconciliation. We have gathered together 8 must-read books by talented Indigenous authors. These books tell stories of the heartbreak of the stolen generation, what it means to be Indigenous in modern Australia and of connection to and love of country…


At Yarn we have written many articles about the incredible art that is produced by Indigenous communities and the importance that art and art centres have within remote Indigenous communities. Art and creative learning is also a crucial part of children’s education in these communities. For all populations, creative learning in education, particularly early childhood education has endless benefits. This is particularly true in Indigenous communities. Learning done through the arts has improved learning outcomes, encourages social inclusion, provides a form of self expression and helps maintain and transmit culture to younger generations. …


Indigenous art is an incredibly significant part of the Australian art scene; it has shaped it and has proven to be very successful within the international art market. Behind each and every artwork is a talented artist, many of which live in remote communities and are a part of art centres — places designed to foster creativity and help artists connect with galleries and buyers. However, art centres and communities are so much more than that; they are places to socialise, share inspiration and most importantly collaborate. …


Ochres are incredible natural pigments that come from the earth. They are minerals that can be found in the soil or even charcoal. For tens of thousands of years Indigenous Australian people have used ochre to create beautiful artworks that tell stories and convey important messages. Despite the introduction of acrylic paints, ochres still continue to be used by many Indigenous artists to this day (Wroth, 2021). These gorgeous paintings display the rich colours of the earth. …


It’s no secret that Indigenous fashion in recent years has been growing through increasing interest and exposure. Fashion and art are closely connected particularly within Indigenous fashion, one could not exist without the other. It is through talented Indigenous artists that the boldly coloured, patterned textiles are created. Unique artworks are what makes First Nations fashion so distinctive. It is these distinctive styles that are beginning to gain recognition from an international audience.

“Earth’s Creation” by Emily Kngwarreye. The painting was sold for 2.1 million in 2017. Image sourced from The Guardian.

For decades now Australian First Nations art has been in high demand all over the world. It was in the 1980’s that Indigenous art really took off…


Image sourced from Justin McManus

The Djab Wurrung ‘Directions Tree’ in Djab Wurrung Country located just off the Western Highway, Victoria, was a 350 year old towering yellow box tree, also referred to as a fiddleback due to the unique way in which the grain of the tree formed.

As many people may be aware from the public outcry of the Australian Indigenous community and allies, on 26 October the Directions Tree was destroyed. The action is surrounded by controversy with this notable tree and other directions trees nominated for removal as part of the Victoria Governments multi-million dollar highway expansion. After a decade-long ongoing…


On May 24th this year, the mining company Rio Tinto blew up two caves at Juukan Gorge, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, in a bid to extract approximately $135 million worth of iron ore. These two caves are sites of Indigenous cultural significance, with an archaeological survey revealing evidence of human occupation from more than 46,000 years ago. Through the blast, both of the rock shelters collapsed leaving the traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti and Karrama and Pinkura peoples (PKKP) in shock (Cockburn, 2020). How could Rio Tinto possibly justify this act of cultural vandalism?

Juukan Gorge, WA. Image sourced from The Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Aboriginal Corporation.

Rio Tinto’s actions at Juukan…


Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy is a powerful and insightful documentary that tells the remarkable story of the internationally revered musician, craftsman and spiritual leader Djalu Gurruwiwi. The documentary follows his quest to find the new voice and leader to carry the songlines and traditions of his Galpu clan and Aboriginal culture through future generations. The documentary was funded by the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Grant, Screen Australia, NITV and Film Victoria (Beat Magazine, 2020). The director Ben Strunin comments:

“The intention of the film is to amplify Djalu’s message to as wide an audience as possible; an audience that wouldn’t…


“My people have always felt the need to express themselves through painting, now and since the beginning of time. Our sacred rocks are covered with these paintings which tell of the “Dreamtime.” There we can see representations of the creator god Baiame in all his forms, and what the world of our ancestors was like, thousands of years ago.” -Yakar Garimala, 2014

Aboriginal iconography on rock paintings. Courtesy of Artlandish Aboriginal Art Gallery, 2020.

First Nations art is the oldest continuous artistic tradition in the world; and it is centred around storytelling, in particular the Jukurrpa, or Dreamtime as it is commonly known. Their artwork displays an enormous array of patterns, which…


“Over the past decade or so, social media technologies have gradually become a central part of our everyday lives.” (Macquarie University, 2018)

According to a census conducted by Common Sense Media (2019), a nonprofit that promotes the safe use of technology and media for young adults and children, it was found that young adults are spending an average of seven hours a day on their electronic devices. …

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