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The School

Waniora Public School is committed to providing quality education in a caring, stimulating and challenging environment. We promote participation in all academic, social and physical endeavours.

The Project

On 24 October, Gunai poet Kirli Saunders held workshops with Waniora Public School and Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts. These workshops are the first to use the 'Poetry in First Languages' resource, specially tailored to promote connection to country, culture and language. The day focused on poetry in Dharawal Language, with the support of local Language Custodian, Jodi Edwards.

Indigenous students heard dreaming stories from local elders and language holders, created poetry about the local landscape and identity and learnt about Dharawal language with the aims to translate sections of their poems and collaborate to perform their poetry. Discover their collaborations here »

The Poet

Kirli Saunders

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.

 

Reflections

Taking a dream from conception to delivery – Poetry in First Languages – Kirli Saunders