Natalie is the Principal consultant at Leanganook Yarn. Natalie is a facilitator and consultant in organisational processes, participatory program design, monitoring and evaluation. Natalie’s participatory approach uses strength based and engagement processes that build agency and collaboration with communities, networks, organisation and programs. Natalie lives on DjaDjaWurrung Country in central Victoria and has a long-term commitment and extensive experience working with Indigenous groups as well as in the Asia-Pacific region and with non-Indigenous Australia. She works across community, NGO and Government sectors.
Nikki has a personal and professional capacity for sensitive and skilled cross-cultural engagement in on-ground activities in remote Aboriginal contexts. Nikki has worked with and for Indigenous people and organisations in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Canada and Ecuador across Indigenous ecological knowledge, natural resource management, Indigenous intellectual property and protocols, and in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Nikki’s experience of living, working and establishing and maintaining close family relationships in a remote Aboriginal community in the Kimberley region of Western Australia over a period of seven years resulted in a passionate and deep commitment to her subsequent professional roles. A strong understanding of, and commitment to, participatory and empowering processes, consultation, engagement, and communication underpin Nikki’s profession practice across these domains.
Dr Geoff Evans
Geoff is an environmental scientist and adult educator with a great passion for, and lots of experience in, facilitating participatory strategic planning and environment and human rights advocacy. Geoff has developed, delivered and evaluated training courses in environmental values and ethics, ecosystem health, development and sustainability at university, technical institutes and in many different communities. Geoff has worked for many years in Aboriginal communities in central Australia where he developed, managed and evaluated community leadership and development, community work skills and basic works skills programs, as well as land management, organisation development, youth and community well-being/health/safety projects and training. He has facilitated and coordinated environmental awareness and human rights programs, particularly on mining, energy, climate change, natural disaster preparedness and environmental management, in PNG, Philippines, Central Europe and Australia. He lives in Newcastle in NSW.
We collaborate with a number of other people.
Brenton McKenna is a young Indigenous artist and writer from Broome, in the far north of Western Australia. Ever since he can remember, Brenton has been passionate about art and telling stories. Brenton published his first graphic novel, Ubby’s Underdogs: The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon (http://ubbysunderdogs.com) in 2011 followed by the second part of his trilogy in 2014, Ubby’s Underdogs: Heroes Beginnings (http://www.magabala.com/ubby-s-underdogs-heroes-beginnings.html). As a graphic illustrator and published novelist Brenton tours Australia and the world presenting workshops and speaking on panels. Most recently he has started to collaborate with Natalie in engaging Indigenous communities though graphic illustration.
Leanganook Yarn is a social enterprise that strives for environmental sustainability.
As a social enterprise, Leanganook Yarn works with one client annually in
a pro bono capacity. Wages are capped and any income earned above this is reinvested into collaborative projects. These are projects that build community and international tools and methods profiling Indigenous peoples’ methodological developments and improve Indigenous led program design.
Leanganook Yarn strives for environmental sustainability – is solar powered, reuses, recycles and re-purposes where possible. We prefer workshops to involve, non-bottled water, glass glasses and china plates and metal cutlery and are happy to pitch in with the washing if that is an issue. For catering we like wholesome, organic meals from local sources. The nature of this work involves a lot of travel and hence carbon miles consumed. To counter this we undertake re-vegetation work, removing weeds and planting gardens and native bush plants in three locations.
Leanganook is the DjaDja Wurrung (the local Indigenous people) word for the mountain that dominates the landscape where we are based. Leanganook is situated near the town of Castlemaine and in the Mount Alexander Shire in central Victoria, Australia. This is Dja Dja Wurrung country.
Yarn is a word used often in Australian Aboriginal English describing people talking to each other in a relaxed way. It represents story telling and the significant place that yarning holds in building relationships and undertaking work with people, projects and organisations. Yarn is also a thread used in many women’s craft and for us represents women weaving their story into the strength of an organisation and program. The yarn in women’s craft can hold their social, cultural and spiritual traditions and strength. This is also about the consideration of gender in our work.