Mount Keira looking from the mountains to the sea

Yaangarra: The Paperbark Project

Yaangarra, the Dharawal word for paperbark, is the name of an interactive teaching resource for working with Indigenous Literatures from First Nations people across Australia, housed on a web-based platform.

Yaangarra is in a pilot phase of development. Built around concentric circles, presently addressing author, text, and genre—with accounts of author kinship and Country. Yaangarra enables the potential for the (un)belonging of settler students in multiple ways, and also engages with and empowers the knowledge of Indigenous students. This web platform productively resists Western forms of knowledge-mediation and production, which often over determine the Indigenous literature space. 

Within Aboriginal cultures in Australia, knowledge is grounded in Country and Kinship; culture can be innovative but does not produce knowledge in the individualistic mode that Western cultures do. In the case of Yaangarra, the design suggests an affinity with such aspects of culture as story custodianship, genre and inscription; it also suggests a connection of affinity and kinship between the authors. In this way, unbelonging to the Western modes of assimilative identity, knowledge and data are unpacked through a teaching resource and the accompanying methods for its dissemination. Yaangarra connects knowledge about Indigenous writers to literary genre, time, and story.

Our people

  • Dr Tully Barnett, Flinders University
  • Professor Katherine Bode, Australian National University
  • Evelyn Araluen Corr (Bundjalung, Goorie/Koorie), Overland Literary Journal
  • Emeritus Professor Leigh Dale, Independent Scholar
  • Associate Professor Jeanine Leane (Wiradjuri), University of Melbourne
  • Emeritus Professor Susan K. Martin, LaTrobe University
  • Dr Peter Minter, University of Sydney
  • Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson, (Goenpul, Quandamooka), RMIT

Yaangarra was initially developed from 2020–2021 with the support of an Education Strategies Development Fund grant housed within the Learning, Teaching and Curriculum space at the University of Wollongong and supported by the officer of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education.

Conference participation

Members of the Yaangarra team to present by invitation on the web platform at (Un)belonging: In Search of New Representations, Negotiations, Entanglements a conference run by three EU academic groups on Australian Studies. 

Yaangarra team members Michael R. Griffiths, Ika Willis and Evelyn Araluen Corr presented on the project at the Literary Networks Convention hosted remotely from Victoria University in July of 2021.

Would you like to use Yaangarra in your classroom?

Access Yaangarra here
Top view of woman using laptop