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What is a yarning place?

The yarning places (formerly called communities of practice) are electronic networks that enable people with an interest in Indigenous 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.

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. Services include:

  • a mob member list which provides members' contact details (permission to display the details is obtained beforehand)
  • a yarning board which is an electronic board for discussion and debate about relevant issues
  • a message stick which is an email list which enables a member to reach all members with one email
  • yarn now which enables users that are currently online to chat to each other instantly
  • events that are held across the country can be listed on the website keeping the members informed.

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How to join the yarning places

To join the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Yarning Places please complete the three part sign up form at http://yarning.org.au/signup.

Part 1: Create Account

Required fields:

  • email address – this will be used by the yarning places to contact you and you will be required to enter this when you log in
  • password – enter your desired password that is memorable for you. (this needs to be entered twice)
  • username – the yarning places creates a profile for everyone that joins. Your username is used to create the unique web address
  • timezone – this is the timezone of the place where you live or work
  • Terms of service - you need to tick the box for the terms of service to show that you have read and agreed to the terms of service set out by the yarning places.

Click 'Continue' to get to the next step.

Part 2: Profile Information

Required fields:

  • first name – your first name (this field is required to go to the next step)
  • last name – your last name (this field is required to go to the next step).

Optional fields:

  • job title – your job title
  • organisation – the organisation that you work for
  • work phone – your work phone number
  • fax - your work fax number
  • mobile - your work mobile number
  • address – your work address
  • about me – a short description about what you do and what you are interested in
  • status – whether you are Indigenous, non-Indigenous etc

Part 3: Add Your Photo

If you would like to add a photo to your account click 'choose file' and navigate to a file on your computer. Click 'Save photo' to add the photo to your profile.

If you would not like to add a photo to your profile click 'skip'.

Once you have completed the form you will automatically be logged into the yarning places and a notification that you have successfully joined will be sent to your email address.

To join specific yarning places navigate to the yarning place you want to join and click 'join'. (See 'How to join a particular yarning place').

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How to login to the yarning places

To login to the yarning places you will need the email address that you joined with and the password that you chose. If you have forgotten your password please click on the 'Forgot password' link at the bottom of the mob member sign in page and fill in the requested details.

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How to join a particular yarning place

Click on the 'Yarning places' navigation tab. A list of all of the yarning places will appear.

Choose the yarning place you wish to be a member of, for example 'Physical activity'.

Click the 'Join yarning place' link on the left and a pop-up will appear asking for confirmation. Click on this to verify that you want to join the yarning place.

All of the yarning places that you belong to will appear under the 'My yarning places' tab.

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What is the yarning board?

The yarning board is an electronic board which allows mob members to discuss and debate relevant issues. The yarning board posts remain within the yarning place for all mob members to view. The yarning board allows members to have an ongoing discussion in a form that remains on the yarning board and can be responded to at the members' own convenience.

The coordinators of the yarning places check these posts for appropriate content. If you feel there is inappropriate content on the yarning board please contact us.

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How to post a message on the yarning board

To post a message on a yarning board you have to be a member of that yarning place. Go to the yarning place by clicking on its title. Select the 'Yarning board' link from the tabs under the title of the yarning place. You can choose to post a new topic or you can write a post in the topics that are already there by clicking on the title.

To post a new topic click the 'Post new topic' link, fill in the form with a title for the post and then put the details of the post in the 'message' box. Click 'Post new topic' to add the topic to the yarning place.

To write a post from the topics that are already there, click on the topic title. The posts to the topic will appear and a form at the bottom of the page can be used to post a reply. You can also click the 'Post reply' link at the top of the page to access the form which will add your post to the discussion.

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Who are the mob members?

The mob members list shows all the members' contact details (if they have given permission). Click on a members name to see more details including which yarning places they belong to.

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How to be friends with other members of the yarning places

Find the member you want to be friends with amongst the mob members. Click on their name. Once their page has loaded choose 'Add to my friends' under the image on the left.

The person will then be sent an email notifying them of the request.

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How to accept friends' requests

A mob member has sent you an email requesting to be your friend in the yarning places. Log in to the yarning places. A box on the right will appear saying you have friend requests.

Click on the link and you will be taken to the notification screen which will show you your recent updates and your friend requests.

Click 'Add Friend' to accept the friend request.

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How to add an event to a yarning place

To add an event to a yarning place open the yarning place and click 'Events'

Events that have already been added to the yarning place will appear under this tab. If you want to add an event click 'Add events' and fill in the details for the event.

Once all the details have been added click 'Save changes'.

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How to add a general event

To add an event click 'Events' in the top navigation.

Click on 'Create new event' on the right

Fill in all of the details about the event and then click 'Save changes'.

The event will then appear throughout the yarning places under the 'Upcoming events' section.

Once the event has passed it will appear under the 'Past events' section. If you have created the event then it will also appear under the 'My events' section.

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What is the message stick?

The message stick is an email list (also called a listserv) that enables people across the country to share information, seek assistance and yarn. For example mob members may use the message stick to seek information about current projects, advertise a job or let others know about an upcoming event. If you belong to the message stick and have a query then another member may be able to help. Message stick messages are sent to the members' email addresses and are used to alert users to information. All messages are monitored by the yarning place coordinators prior to being sent out.

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How to send a message stick message to the yarning place mob members

To send a message to all of the mob members of a yarning place, go to the yarning place by clicking on its title. Click on the 'Message stick' tab and send an email to the email address that appears.

The message stick is moderated by our yarning place coordinators who check the message for appropriate content before the message is sent on to all of the members of the yarning place.

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How to use the yarn now function

The 'Yarn now' navigation tab at the top will take you to a discussion area where you can chat with other yarning place mob members who are currently online.

Choose a topic and you can yarn with multiple people instantly if they are also within that yarn now topic room and are currently online.

If there are other mob members online at the same time as you, you can also use the instant chat function, 'Friends online' at the bottom of the page.

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How to edit my profile

Click the 'My profile' link at the top of the page and then click 'Edit my profile' under the image.

Fill in/change any of the details and click 'Save' to modify your profile details.

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How to add a picture

Click the 'My profile' link at the top of the page and then click 'Edit my profile' under the image. Click 'Edit my photo' and then you can choose an image from your computer by clicking 'Choose file' and locating the image you want to use.

Click 'Save photo' to upload the image you have chosen.

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How to change my email address

Click the 'Settings' link at the top of the page on the right. All of your settings can be changed in this area. Within the 'General' settings there is a field called 'Email address'.

Change this to your new email address. And then click 'Save changes' to update the system.

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How to change the privacy settings

Click the 'Settings' link at the top of the page on the right. All of your settings can be changed in this area. Click on 'Privacy' to change the type of content you are happy to share.

We would recommend that the following are ticked in the 'Recent activity privacy' section:

  • Joining a yarning place – this means when you join a yarning place other members will see this in their 'what's new' feeds
  • Creating a yarning place yarning board topic – this means if you add a post to a yarning board, other members of the yarning place will see the discussion in their 'what's new' feeds
  • Replying to a yarning place yarning board topic – this means if you reply to a post on a yarning board, other members of the yarning place will see the discussion in their 'what's new' feeds

Click 'Save changes' to update any changes to your settings.

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How to change the notifications sent to my inbox

All notifications are sent to the 'Messages' section of your yarning place profile. To change which notifications are sent to your inbox, click on the 'Settings' link at the top of the page on the right.

All of your settings can be changed in this area. By default you will receive all 'Notifications'.

To change what you will receive in your email inbox, remove the tick to stop receiving the related notifications and then click 'Save changes' to update your settings.

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How to change my password

Click the 'Settings' link at the top of the page on the right. All of your settings can be changed in this area. Click on 'Change password' to change your password.

You will have to enter your old password and then your new password twice. Click 'Change password' to update the system.

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How to ask for help

If you have any problems with the yarning place system you can click on the 'Contact' button on the bottom of the screen and complete the contact form.


If there are other mob members online at the same time as you, you could also use the instant chat function, 'Friends online', at the bottom of the page, to ask for assistance.

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How to unjoin a yarning place

Click on the 'Yarning places' navigation tab.

A list of all of the yarning places will appear.

Click on the yarning place you wish to unjoin, for example Physical activity.

Click the 'Unjoin yarning place' link on the left and a pop-up will appear asking for confirmation. Click on this to verify that you want to terminate your membership to the specific yarning place. The yarning place will no longer appear in the 'My yarning places' tab.

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How to delete my account

Click the 'Settings' link at the top of the page on the right. All of your settings can be changed in this area. Click on 'Delete account' to delete your account.

A pop-up will appear and you will have to confirm that you want to delete your account.

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How to sign out of the yarning places

Click the 'Sign out' link at the top of the screen.

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How to access the HealthInfoNet website

Click the 'HealthInfoNet home' button at the top of the screen to go to the main HealthInfoNet website.