Moss Vale High School
Poetry in First Languages, 2018
Moss Vale High School is a comprehensive secondary school serving a community extending from Robertson in the east to Wingello in the south. Set in extensive grounds on a hill overlooking the northern outskirts of Moss Vale, it provides space for the growth and development of young people. Take a peak at their creative talents in the Bamir Language Gallery.
Developed by Gunai poet Kirli Saunders and delivered by Red Room Poetry, Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) celebrates, shares and preserves knowledge of First Nations languages and culture through poetry, music and art.
On 20 March, Kirli Saunders guided students from Years 7-12 from Moss Vale High School through the new resource, specific to Gundungurra Country. Students were connected to First Nations Poets, Elders and Language Custodians on Country, strengthening the connection of First Nations students to Country, language and community to empower students to feel pride in their cultural identities.
Poetry in First Languages is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australian National Commission for UNESCO of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is proudly supported by Graeme Wood Foundation, Geoff Ainsworth AM & Johanna Featherstone, Copyright Agency, and generous individuals.
On Gundungurra country, PIFL is also supported by Wingecarribee Shire Council, Australian Decorative Fine Arts Society Bowral, Participants in the Australia Council’s 2018 Arts Leaders Program, Graeme Wood Foundation, ABC and AIME.
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.