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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

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Support Poetry in First Languages crowdfunding campaign

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. Our aim is to strengthen connections of First Nations students to country, language and community to empower pride in their cultural identities resulting in enhanced wellbeing.

View 2018 program, workshops and events


The project, running from 2018-2020, will deliver:

  • 25 commissioned First Nations poets, emerging, mid-career and established
  • Creation of language group-specific learning resources aligned with Australian Curriculum
  • First Nations poets, Elders and Language Custodians 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
  • Research to be conducted by Bailey and Yang Group and UTS

Partners and Supporters

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 Oranges & Sardines Foundation, Norman Catts Trust, Nelson Meers Foundation and other generous individuals.