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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. 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.