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Irriti ngurra Warumpila ngayulu nyinapayi. Pulinguru walpangku ngyunya
yunpa pampunu.

A long time ago, I lived on the land of my people, Warumpi. From the
mountains, the wind would blow and caress my face.

~ from 'Ngurrparringu (Forgotten)' by Matthew Heffernan

The International Year of Indigenous Languages is 2019

Delivered by Red Room Poetry and developed by Gunai poet Kirli Saunders, the Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) project celebrates, shares and preserves knowledge of First Nations languages and culture through poetry, music, dance and art.

PIFL supports First Nations students in creating poetry in first languages by connecting them to First Nations poets, Elders and Language Custodians on Country to empower pride in their cultural identities resulting in enhanced wellbeing. 

In 2019, we'll be delivering more than 35 workshops on Arrernte, Gundungurra, Dharawal, Gumea Dharawal, Ngunawal and Gadigal  Countries (NT, NSW and ACT). We'll be publishing the poems from the workshops on our website and in public art installations. We'll also be cultivating a Poetry in First Languages Collection for release in 2020.

Discover more about the project


Help keep first Nations languages alive

Contributing Elders, Language Custodians & artists

Ellen Van Neerven (Mununjali Yugambeh), Matthew Heffernan (Pintupi-Luritja), Melanie Mununggurr Williams (Djapu), Declan Furber Gillick (Arrernte), Nicholas Paton (Ngunawal), Ethan Bell (Ngunawal), Nicole Smede (Woremi), Kirli Saunders (Gunai), Aunty Sharyn Halls (Gundungurra), Aunty Trish Levett (Gundungurra), Jacob Morris (Gumea Dharawal), Aunty Jodi Edwards (Yuin), Paul Collis (Barkindji), Joel Davison (Gadigal), David Cragg (Bundjalung), Allan Giddy.

Workshops & events