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The School

Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts has been offering exceptional educational opportunities to students across the Illawarra for almost one hundred years. We have the twin goals of academic excellence and excellence in the performing arts. The school has a diverse student population with students travelling from as far as Engadine and Berry to participate in its educational and artistic programs. Academic results are consistently above state average and performance standards are excellent. Our core values of safety, tolerance, achievement and respect provide the basis for a dynamic and caring school.

The Project

14 JUNE 2017 - Refugee Week Workshops

Red Room Poetry collaborated with llawarra Multicultural Services to celebrate REFUGEE WEEK 2017. We delivered Poetry Object workshops to 120 students of Refugee backgrounds from Wollongong High School.

Yuin poet and emerging children's author Kirli Saunders led the students to create poems that told stories of their most treasured objects through Red Room's Poetry Object competition.

Poems from the day are to be published in the student's first languages and English on the Red Room Poetry website.
You can also see them exhibited at SCARF's Refugee Week event.

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.