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13 August, 2021

Gazza's Goss: Spinning a yarn in Mossman

Most of us like a good yarn. It’s a great way to share ideas, get something off your chest, or even in many cases simply pass some time, make new friends and relax.


Kaanju Bamboo and Gazza relaxing and spinning a yarn

Let’s face it, ever since people first walked the earth, we have been sitting down together and sharing stories.

The use of a yarning circle has been an important process within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture for centuries, regarded as an opportunity to learn from a collective group, build respectful relationships, and to preserve and pass on cultural knowledge.

In a yarning circle, everyone has an opportunity to speak in a safe non-judgmental place and to share their strengths in an inclusive and collaborative learning environment.  

It’s a great way to build trusting relationships and provide a safe place to be heard and to respond.

The best way to create a good yarning circle is to erect some benches for the purpose and that is exactly what has been done in Mossman at George Davis Park. The Bunday yarning benches are the creative work of local Kuku Yalanji artists Andrew Gibson, Kaanju Bamboo, Kenneth Bloomfield and Zion Gibson.

This week, I sat down for a yarn on the topic, with Kaanju and we discussed the project, plus the amazing work that is now being carried out at the Mossman Gorge Community Woodworking Shed.

The Woodworking Shed offers a fantastic opportunity for members of our community to produce homemade art for locals and visitors to enjoy and purchase if they wish. Furthermore, the Woodshed provides a training ground for members to learn new skills and most importantly it creates a sense of belonging and pride not only in the work carried out, but in the local environment. The Bunday Yarning Benches are a great example.

The seats, which were hand-carved and etched at the Woodshed, each have a theme that depicts traditional hunting areas for Kuku Yalanji People, for example; Jalunmun – from the sea, Bubumun – from the land and Wawubujamun – from the rivers.

A number of items of Art Work from the Shed are on display in the window of Smartphone & Tablet Solutions in Front Street Mossman. All funds from any sales will help support the Mossman Gorge Community Woodworking Shed in the future.

I’m off to get my chisel sharpened, so for now it’s Gazza signing out! Send your stories to

You can catch up with Gazza each weekday afternoon between 4 – 7 pm on 90.9 FAB FM in Port Douglas

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