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All student poems

The School

The school's stated aim is to foster individual growth through education for self fulfilment in an ever changing society. To this end the school provides an education which fosters cooperation between staff, parents and pupils and encourages pupils to: Develop their individual talents and interests; become responsible for their learning; and develop skills to cope with change.

The staff through dedication and reflection aim to: Create a safe and supportive learning environment; and implement a curriculum which fosters tolerance and self esteem. As a school targeted by the Priority School Program (PSP), Berkeley West Public School has special programs operating to support student needs in literacy and numeracy, as well those that promote community awareness and involvement.

The school also demonstrates a strong emphasis on programs which support: Student welfare; computer technology; PD/Health/PE; and a cooperative approach to assessment.

The Project

Proud Yuin poet Kirli Saunders led NAIDOC-themed poetry workshops at Berkeley West Public School, encouraging students from Years 2-6 to connect to country and to write poems using Elouera language words. The workshop resource was informed by consultation with local Elders and langauge holders, Aunty Gwen Brown & Uncle Rueben Brown. Poems from the workshop are to be published in a mural on the school grounds. Discover them here »

Listen to some of students perform their poems for our interview with the ABC Illawarra.   

The Poet

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman, with ties to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Gadigal and Biripi people. She currently resides on Dharawal Country. Kirli is an international children’s author, poet and emerging playwright. She manages Poetry in First Languages and Poetic Learning at Red Room Poetry. Her picture books include CBCA nominated and internationally published, The Incredible Freedom Machines (Scholastic) and forthcoming, Our Dreaming and Happy Every After (Scholastic) and Afloat (Hardie Grant). Her poetry Collection, Kindred was Highly Commended in Black&Write 2018. She was Runner-up in the Nakata Brophy Prize 2018. Her poetry has been published by a number of journals (Cordite, Overland, Planthunter) and commissioned for public art. She is co-writing her first play, Dead Horse Gap. 

In 2019, you can find Kirli at NT Writers Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Sydney Writers Festival, Enough Said and Word in Hand. She returns as writer in residence at The Literature Centre, Fremantle this year where she will perform The Incredible Freedom Machines with Matt Ottley and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra in rural WA, at Coco’s Island and Christmas Island.

 

Reflections

Taking a dream from conception to delivery – Poetry in First Languages – Kirli Saunders