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Gūgarra Djedjembēn Nadaji
Mah Mah Mah
Yallumba Būrajāh Banggliga

~ Jacob Morris, Ethan Bell and Adrian Webster from 'Banggliga

Delivered by Red Room Poetry and developed by Gunai poet Kirli Saunders, Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) celebrates, shares and preserves knowledge of First Nations languages and culture through poetry, music, dance and art. PIFL aims to support students to find strength in their cultural identities through language learning and connecting to Country, Culture and Community with the intention of enhancing overall wellbeing and knowledge.



Program goals (2018–2020)

  • 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 a digital anthology of First Language poems collected during the project in 2020
  • Professional Development sessions (3 per year) for teachers
  • Independent evaluation conducted by BYP Group and by UTS 


Research on the impact of PIFL on educational outcomes, connection, identity and wellbeing:

Contact to access the full report by Eleanor Carless.


Strengthening Language and connecting to Country

Dharawal 2019

Filmed by Tad Souden 


Starting our Language journey together

Dharawal 2018

Filmed by Craig Holbrook


Learning resources

  • HSC English Resource: Ali Cobby Eckermann's Inside my Mother
  • Digital Workshop: Speaking and Listening from the Heart 
  • Webinar: First Languages, Education and Reconciliation (Part 1 and 2) 
  • Learning resource: Poems to Share II

Discover them here >

Partners and Supporters

Poetry in First Languages is generously supported by many partners since 2018: Oranges & Sardines Foundation, Ades Foundation, Graeme Wood Foundation, Norman Catts, Northern Illawarra AECG, the National Health Commission and Dharawal Men’s Aboriginal Corporation.