Tagai State College (Thursday Island) , QLD
Sea Things, 2009
Tagai State College’s name is anchored on the constellation of Tagai, a symbol that unites the people of the Torres Strait. The College structure includes 18 community-based campuses and a number of centralised service providers that aim to provide expertise and efficiency across Torres Strait. Tagai State College, like the constellation, is a collection of individual entities that together make up the whole. The College is committed to a Language and Culture program which ensures learning activities value and maintain the integrity of traditional protocols, knowledges and skills.
Tagai State School was the last port of call for the Sea Things duffle bags on their journey around Australia. After picking up poetic cargo from the east and west coats of Australia, the Sea Things crew traveled by barge to Thursday Island to conduct a poetry workshop with students and collect their creative contributions to the project. Lead by poet Graeme Miles, Sea Things Captain Dave Jordan and Johanna Featherstone, a group of selected students toured culturally significant sites on the island, composing sea-inspired poems along the way. The students were also joined by teacher Jeff Waia and documentary maker Tyler Freeman Smith who recorded the Sea Things Documentary.
ABC Radio National reporter Gretchen Miller also captured students reading their poems and other island sounds.
Graeme's poems have appeared in many Australian literary journals and anthologies; his first collection of poems, Phosphorescence, appeared with Fremantle Press in 2006. In the same year he travelled to India on an Asialink residency at the University of Madras. He now lives in Hobart with his wife, Alicia and son, Angus, where he is a lecturer in Classics at the University of Tasmania.