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The School

Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts has been offering exceptional educational opportunities to students across the Illawarra for almost one hundred years. We have the twin goals of academic excellence and excellence in the performing arts. The school has a diverse student population with students travelling from as far as Engadine and Berry to participate in its educational and artistic programs. Academic results are consistently above state average and performance standards are excellent. Our core values of safety, tolerance, achievement and respect provide the basis for a dynamic and caring school.

The Project

14 JUNE 2017 - Refugee Week Workshops

Red Room Poetry collaborated with llawarra Multicultural Services to celebrate REFUGEE WEEK 2017. We delivered Poetry Object workshops to 120 students of Refugee backgrounds from Wollongong High School.

Yuin poet and emerging children's author Kirli Saunders led the students to create poems that told stories of their most treasured objects through Red Room's Poetry Object competition.

Poems from the day are to be published in the student's first languages and English on the Red Room Poetry website.
You can also see them exhibited at SCARF's Refugee Week event.

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