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 Miles has published two collections of poems: Recurrence (John Leonard Press, 2012) and Phosphorescence (Fremantle Press, 2006). After completing a PhD in classics at the University of Western Australia, he spent six months as an Asialink writer in residence at the University of Madras, then a year in Belgium as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Ghent. His poems have appeared in many Australian journals and anthologies, and he has reviewed poetry books for Cordite and Australian Book Review. He has lived in Hobart since 2008 and teaches ancient Greek language and literature at the University of Tasmania.