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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

In 2018, Red Room Poetry along with Illawarra Multicultural Services Wollongong collaborated to deliver Refugee Week workshops to students from Wollongong Primay School (13 June) and Wollongong West Primay School (15 June). The workshops allowed English as a Second Language (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 20 June 2018.

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.