Fountain Gate Primary School, VIC
Eucalyptus Eco Poetry Project, 2017
Fountain Gate Primary School has excellent facilities, resources and grounds, but most importantly it has a dedicated staff who know each child as an individual, and who strive to create conditions where they will thrive. Our students come from over 40 different nationalities, resulting in a diverse school environment that helps prepare our children for their entry into a globalised future without fear or prejudice. Our values of respect, trust and care can be seen in the relationships that exist across the school community, and in the high levels of connectedness among children, staff and parents. At Fountain Gate Primary School, children learn about the world and their place in it by being actively involved in increasingly complex learning environments as they move through the school.
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 20 October, students from Fountain Gate Primary School spent the day with Yuin 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.
Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and an award-winning international Children’s Author and Poet as well as a Teacher, and emerging Artist. She created and led Red Room Poetry's Poetry in First Languages program from its conception until July 2020. Her debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards and FAB Booktopia Awards. She is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). She is an esteemed judge for the Val Vallis Poetry Prize. Kirli is the 2020 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.