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The School

Cranbourne West Primary School is committed to every child being in a personalised learning environment. Our teachers are all now working in collaborative teams and work together for all the students in their flexible multi age learning environment. Every student who is enrolled at Cranbourne West Primary School is assessed to find out where their current stage of learning is and the teams will work hard through targeted teaching and explicit teaching so that they can progress up to the next stage.

The Project

The Eucalyptus Eco-Poetry Project (EEPP) is a 'branch' of New Shoots created in collaboration with Eucalypt Australia. The project invites poets and students to emotionally and creatively connect with eucalyptus through a poetic lens. By uncovering the hidden stories and secrets of the iconic green giants we often take for granted, the EEPP enriches understanding of eucalypts at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and beyond.

On 19 October, students from Cranbourne West Primary School spent the day with Gunai poet Kirli Saunders. Kirli delivered eucalypt-inspired poetry workshops that creatively connect students with country and culture. Garden staff led students on guided tours, focusing on Eucalypts, bush tucker, and bush medicine, before poetic workshops with Kirli. Read some of the  student's poems here. 

The Poet

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman with ties to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Gadigal and Biripi people. Kirli is the Manager of Poetic Learning and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison at Red Room Poetry. She was awarded ‘Worker of the Year 2017’ at the NAIDOC awards in the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven region and has been nominated for a National NAIDOC award in 2018. Kirli founded the Poetry in First Languages project. Her first children’s picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines, illustrated by Matt Ottley was selected for Bologna Book Fair and is published internationally. Her second picture book Our Dreaming will be released by Scholastic in July 2019, Happy Ever After will follow in February 2020. Kirli’s First Poetry Collection, Kindred is to be released by Magabala in 2019, it was Highly Commended in the 2018 Black&Write! prize. Kirli’s poem ‘A Dance of Hands’ was Runner-up in the Nakata Brophy Prize. Kirli’s poetry has been published by Cordite and Overland and has embedded in infrastructure at Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. In 2018, Kirli will be Writer in Residence at Bundanon Trust, Q Station and The Literature Centre, Fremantle for ‘The Sound of Picture Books’.