Yarning places

Our yarning places (formerly called communities of practice) are electronic networks that enable people with an interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to share information, knowledge and experience – even when they live in different states, territories and regions, come from different sectors (such as health, education and justice), and work for different organisations.

By combining quality, up-to-date web-based information resources with yarning places we aim to create a great resource for people working, studying or interested in various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues. When you join a yarning place – membership is free – you will have access to electronic services that assist members to network, yarn and share information and experiences online:

  • The mob members list: this provides members’ contact details (permission to display the details is obtained beforehand).
  • The message stick: this is an email list which enables a member to reach all members with one email.
  • The yarning board: this is an electronic board for discussion and debate about relevant issues.
  • The yarn now feature: this is similar to a chat room where two or more members can join in ‘live’ discussions with one another.
  • The events feature: this is where you can access information, or notify others, about upcoming events related to Indigenous health.

What yarning places are currently available?

Web resources and yarning places have been developed for various aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Their development has been made possible with funding and collaboration from organisations with expertise in these areas.

Substance use CQIconnect Diabetes EarInfoNetwork EyeInfoNetwork Healing Cardiovascular disease Enviromental health practitioners Health workers Kidney health National Indigenous Cancer Network Nutrition Physical activity Healthy Lifestyle Workers SEWB WA IHPN Women's Health

What yarning places are currently under development?

We are currently exploring funding options to develop yarning places for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health priorities. If you are aware of any possible sources of funding, please contact us.

Would you like to join a yarning place?

Some of the yarning places are still very new and we need your help to develop these online networks. If you are working or studying in the areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health covered by our various yarning places we invite you to become an mob member, share your info, and spread the word.

Membership is free and an online application form is available here.

Once you have joined a yarning place, a confirmation message explaining more about the yarning place will be sent to your e-mail address. To access the yarning place (mob members, yarning board and message stick), you will need to log in and enter your email address and password. (Just a reminder – your password is the one you submitted on the join form).

Yarning place guidelines

As a courtesy to others – and to protect yourself – please follow these guidelines when using any of our yarning place facilities (mob members list, message stick and yarning board).

  • Use a brief, clear and descriptive entry in the ‘subject’ line of messages.
  • Where appropriate include your full name, affiliation(s) and email address at the bottom of your messages.
  • Be sure the topic you are discussing is appropriate and relevant to that specific yarning place.
  • When replying to a message, please direct your reply to the proper person/people (please be aware that when you hit ‘reply’ to an message stick email the message will go to all members).
  • Do not send/post angry, critical or emotionally charged messages.
  • Do not use all capital letters in your messages. USING ALL CAPITALS IS THE EMAIL EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING and is considered rude by some people (please excuse us for shouting!).
  • Do not use the yarning place to advertise your company, product or service for commercial gain.
  • Use humour and sarcasm sparingly. Humour in messages can easily be misinterpreted – remarks that you think are funny can come across as rude to others.

Yarning place disclaimer

It is expected that members of the yarning place will not send/post any messages that are obscene, racist, vulgar, sexually explicit, hateful, threatening, or that may in other ways violate any laws. All messages express the views of the author. The ideas, viewpoints, accuracy, and/or opinions expressed in the messages are not endorsed by the HealthInfoNet or our partner organisations, and we will not be held responsible for their content. We reserve the right to remove or edit inappropriate messages, but it is impossible for us to review all messages.


Our yarning places (electronic networks) are based on the ‘community of practice’ model. More information on the ‘community of practice’ model is available on the website of Dr Etienne Wenger, an internationally recognised leader in the field of communities of practice.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.
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