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The School

Wollongong Public School is located close to the centre of the city. While the majority of our students live locally, we have a number of students enrolled in OC classes for gifted and talented students who travel in from all over the Illawarra. We have a rich mixture of students from different cultures in the school. We take great pride in the level of acceptance and respect for different cultures shown by our students.

Wollongong Public School has a long and rich history in the Illawarra region. A school has existed in Wollongong since 1826.

The Project

Red Room Poetry and Illawarra Multicultural Services Wollongong are collaborating to deliver Refugee Week workshops to students from Wollongong PS (13th June) and Wollongong West PS (15th June) . The workshops will allow ESL students from refugee backgrounds in years 3-12 to create poetry about treasured objects as a part of Red Room Poetry’s competition, Poetry Object. Poetry Object is open to all students years 3-10 in Australia and New Zealand. The poems from the workshop will be published on the Red Room Poetry website and will be performed at Town Hall, Wollongong on June 20th.

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’.