Red Room Blog
21st May 2019
Poetry in First Languages on Gundungurra
By Red Room Poetry
In March 2019, Kirli Saunders presented Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) on Gundungurra Country. Working together, students aged 5 to 18 years from Aurora Southern Highlands Steiner School, Berrima Public School, Bowral Public School and Moss Vale High School found mirren (belonging) through poetry – exploring identity, culture, custodianship and garrall (the black cockatoo) conservation in the bawa (bush) and the karat (rain).
Workshops ran with guidance from Aunty Trish Levitt, Jacob Morris, Aunty Sharyn Halls, and in collaboration with NSW Government's Saving our Species (SoS) program and Wingecarribee Shire Council.
So far in 2019, we've presented PIFL workshops in language on Gundungurra, Dharawal and Arrernte Countries. Coming up, we'll be connecting with students and educators on Bundjalung, Gumea Dharawal, Dharawal, Ngunawal and Gadigal Countries.
About Poetry in First Languages
PIFL supports First Nations students in creating poetry in first languages by connecting them to First Nations poets, Elders and Language Custodians on country. Our aim is to strengthen connections of First Nations students to country, language and community to empower pride in their cultural identities resulting in enhanced wellbeing.
Our PIFL project also creates employment opportunities for First Nations poets and artists, both emerging as established. Read poems commissioned for PIFL.
"If we write the poems, the plays and the stories. If we share those then that narrative becomes one that is being spoken, rather than an underlying slience conversation that needs to be had.'
~ Kirli Saunders