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The School

The Premier's Reading Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely.

The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is available for all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 9, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools. 

The Project

On June 7th, Red Room Poetry partnered with the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge to deliver an Indigenous Storytelling workshop to over 10,000 students from 140 NSW schools.

The webcast is now available on YouTube

The virtual workshop, led by proud Yuin poet, Kirli Saunders connected students to Red Room’s Poetry Object and encouraged sharing through poetry and stories about most treasured belongings. Poems from the workshop are published on the Red Room Poetry website and will go in the running to be printed on trains. 

A note from Kirli Saunders:

Thanks to the 10,000 students from 140 schools and to our YouTube viewers who tuned into the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge Bookfest - Indigenous Story Telling session.

We can't wait to see your poems and publish them on our website. If you would like to book at workshop at your school, or know more about Poetry Object please explore our website or send us an email at

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.