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Bayawurradyangun, djirrundyangun
We are all wounded, we all fear
Ngabay midyungngunbuni ngaliya
Together, you and I, we will heal

~ from 'The Wounded Brave' by Joel Davison


Developed by Gunai poet Kirli Saunders and delivered by Red Room Poetry, Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) 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 through workshops facilitated by Red Room Poetry. The focus is to strengthen the connection of First Nations students to country, language and community in order to empower students to feel pride in their cultural identities resulting in enhanced wellbeing overall. 


The project, running from 2018-2020, will deliver:
    •  25 commissioned First Nations poets, emerging and established
    •  Creation of language group-specific learning resources aligned with Australian Curriculum
    •  Poets working directly with 1,000 First Nations students
    •  Performance and publication of student poems via creative installations and the RR website
    •  A print and digital anthology of First Language poems collected during the project in 2020
    •  Professional Development sessions (3 per year) for teachers
    •  Ongoing research to be conducted by Bailey and Yang Group and UTS


Workshops & events


Contributing Elders, Language Custodians and artists

Trish Levett (Gundungurra), Val Mulcahy (Gundungurra), Jodi Edwards (Yuin), Troy Styman (Gundungurra), Lewis Walker (Bundjalung), Joe Geia (Murri) Jacob Morris (Gumea Dharawal), Adrian Webster (Gumea Dharawal), Lyndsay Urquhart (Koori), Kirli Saunders (Gunai, Gundungurra), DJ Terra Nullius, Allan Giddy, David Cragg, Wesley McLeod, Jan Levy, Luke Close, Josh Brown, Vikki Parsley (Dhurga), Wayne Knight (Barkindji), Kevin Knight (Barkindji), Elaine Lomas (Wiradjuri).


Supporters & Partners

Poetry in First Languages is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australian National Commission for UNESCO of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is proudly supported by the Graeme Wood Foundation, Geoff Ainsworth AM & Johanna Featherstone, Copyright Agency, Norman Catts Trust and other generous individuals.

See all supporters and partners

Join us on the journey