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All student poems

The School

The school's stated aim is to foster individual growth through education for self fulfilment in an ever changing society. To this end the school provides an education which fosters cooperation between staff, parents and pupils and encourages pupils to: Develop their individual talents and interests; become responsible for their learning; and develop skills to cope with change.

The staff through dedication and reflection aim to: Create a safe and supportive learning environment; and implement a curriculum which fosters tolerance and self esteem. As a school targeted by the Priority School Program (PSP), Berkeley West Public School has special programs operating to support student needs in literacy and numeracy, as well those that promote community awareness and involvement.

The school also demonstrates a strong emphasis on programs which support: Student welfare; computer technology; PD/Health/PE; and a cooperative approach to assessment.

The Project

Proud Yuin poet Kirli Saunders led NAIDOC-themed poetry workshops at Berkeley West Public School, encouraging students from Years 2-6 to connect to country and to write poems using Elouera language words. The workshop resource was informed by consultation with local Elders and langauge holders, Aunty Gwen Brown & Uncle Rueben Brown. Poems from the workshop are to be published in a mural on the school grounds. Discover them here »

Listen to some of students perform their poems for our interview with the ABC Illawarra.   

The Poet

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and an award-winning international Children’s Author and Poet as well as a Teacher, and emerging Artist. She created and led Red Room Poetry's Poetry in First Languages program from its conception until July 2020. Her debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards and FAB Booktopia Awards. She is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). She is an esteemed judge for the Val Vallis Poetry Prize. Kirli is the 2020 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.



Taking a dream from conception to delivery – Poetry in First Languages – Kirli Saunders