Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman with ties to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Gadigal and Biripi people. She is the Manager of Poetic Learning and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison at Red Room Poetry.

Kirli also acts as Cultural Consultant for NFP and Government organisations. Kirli was awarded 'Worker of the Year 2017' at the NAIDOC awards in the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven region. She founded Poetry in First Languages. Her first children’s picture book ‘The Incredible Freedom Machines’, illustrated by Matt Ottley is to be released by Scholastic in May 2018 and has been selected for Bologna Book Fair 2018. Her second picture book 'Our Dreaming' will be released shortly after. Kirli’s work has been published in the Huffington Post Australia. She was poet in residence at Bundanon Trust for New Shoots in 2017. Kirli’s work has also been commissioned for Reconciliation Week Keep Cups and a range of Poetic Learning workshops at Red Room Poetry. In 2018, Kirli will be writer in Residence at Bundanon Trust, Q Station and The Literature Centre, Fremantle for 'The Sound of Picture Books'.


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 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.


Kirli will be in residence at Bundanon for our 2017 Eucalyptus Eco-Poetry Project (EEPP) in partnership with The Red Room Company and is looking forward to creating poems inspired by plants and place with local primary, secondary and adult groups on the Bundanon property.