Search Website
Close Search Pane
Toggle Menu

The School

Wollongong is a beautiful seaside city nestled between the dramatic Illawarra escarpment and the Tasman Sea, located only an hour’s drive south of Sydney. The City of Wollongong local government area is represented by a Council comprising a Lord Mayor and 12 Councillors. Both the Lord Mayor and the Councillors are popularly elected by people enrolled on the Commonwealth electoral roll. 

The Project

On June 28, Kirli Saunders provided an overview of the Poetry in First Languages, Dharawal project and shared a poetic reading and reflection for the 120 participants of the WCC Reconciliation Conference. Under her guidance, participants then created collaborative poems, reflecting on their learnings from Elders and community throughout the conference. 

Read the workshop poems here

The Poet

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman with ties to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Gadigal and Biripi people. Kirli is the Manager of Poetic Learning and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison at Red Room Poetry. She was awarded ‘Worker of the Year 2017’ at the NAIDOC awards in the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven region and has been nominated for a National NAIDOC award in 2018. Kirli founded the Poetry in First Languages project. Her first children’s picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines, illustrated by Matt Ottley was selected for Bologna Book Fair and is published internationally. Her second picture book Our Dreaming will be released by Scholastic in July 2019, Happy Ever After will follow in February 2020. Kirli’s First Poetry Collection, Kindred is to be released by Magabala in 2019, it was Highly Commended in the 2018 Black&Write! prize. Kirli’s poem ‘A Dance of Hands’ was Runner-up in the Nakata Brophy Prize. Kirli’s poetry has been published by Cordite and Overland and has embedded in infrastructure at Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. In 2018, Kirli will be Writer in Residence at Bundanon Trust, Q Station and The Literature Centre, Fremantle for ‘The Sound of Picture Books’.