The story of the Prevocational Education Talking Sticks


Yarning circles and talking sticks have been used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years to discuss issues in an inclusive and collaborative manner. By yarning, Aboriginal people convey their traditions and knowledge. Yarning circles have respectful interactions, to be open and honest, to listen deeply, acknowledge others and offer your own thoughts and feelings in turn.  We take these very same values and try to emulate them in the Australian and New Zealand Prevocational Medical Education Forum today.

The talking sticks were painted by a man from the Yugambeh tribe on the Gold Coast. In 2009 they were first handed to Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria from the incumbent Postgraduate Medical Council of Queensland and this has started the tradition of the talking sticks being handed from one forum organiser to the next.

Since then the talking sticks have been on a long journey starting on the Gold Coast in 2009, down to Melbourne in 2010 then across the Tasman Sea to Auckland in 2011. They then travelled all the way across our great land to Fremantle in 2012 before heading to Adelaide in 2013, then across to the Hunter Valley in 2014.  They then headed up to Darwin in 2015 where the talking sticks were placed in a the presentation box by Northern Territory Medical Education & Training Centre. They then crossed a great distance to Hobart in 2016. 

Queensland Prevocational Medical Accreditation have them proudly displayed and are honoured to be the custodians this year. Next year, they will be passed to the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria for the second time, completing the yarning circle.

Key Dates

Call for Abstracts: Now Closed
Registrations: Now Open!
Author Notification: 9 August 2017
Early Bird Registration Deadline: 12 September 2017
Forum Dates: 12 – 15 November 2017

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