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The School

Wingecarribee Shire is the local government area of the Southern Highlands. Wingecarribee Shire covers an area of 2700 square kilometres. The Wollondilly and Wingecarribee Rivers flow through the West of the Shire, through deep sandstone valleys and much of this area forms part of the catchment for Warragamba Dam.

The Project

Working with Gundungurra language custodians, Kirli Saunders will lead free poetic language workshops with out of home care students in the local community on the 29th of November at Wingecarribee's Aboriginal Community Cultural Centre in Mittagong. Students will explore connection to country, culutre and language in a range of poetic ways.

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.