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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. 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’.