RED ROOM Poetry

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Poetry in First Languages Project (PIFL)

Poetry in First Languages celebrates, shares and preserves knowledge of First Nations language with children and young people.

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‘Ngabay midyungngunbuni ngaliya
Together, you and I, we will heal’
~ Joel Davison, Gadigal poet

Developed by Gunai poet, author and educator, Kirli Saunders and delivered by Red Room Poetry, Poetry in First Languages celebrates, shares and preserves knowledge of First Nations languages and culture through poetry, dance, art and unique publishing pathways. Think First Nations children’s poetry on buses or audio poems floating from streams in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

PIFL supports First Nations students to create poetry in first languages by connecting them to First Nations poets, Elders and Language Custodians on country. We develop learning resources and commission First Nations poets to produce new works in language while exploring cultural identity and inspiring children.

In 2019-20, Language Custodians and poets will engage with over 1000 First Nations students across Australia, while supporting educators with Poetry in First Languages professional development series.

‘Balumbambal always watching’ – the ancient ones –
dead but not gone – their blood flows through us
~ Jeanine Leane, Wiradjuri poet

This year through Poetry in First Languages, we have collaborated directly with over 400 First Nations students as well as Elders, Language Custodians, poets and creatives.

Kirli and our team have led workshops on Dharawal, Yuin, Gundungurra, Bundjalung and Gadigal country. Research through Bailey & Yang Group shows the project is making a significant difference not just in the lives of the young people involved but for their families and communities too. Our First Nations team are seeing improvement in language skills and literacy, while their artistic voices and general superpowers as awesome culture sharers grow.

$25 will support one child to take part in our Poetry in First Languages project.
With your support, our goal is to reach another 1000 First Nations children and young people directly over the next 2 years.

Help us strengthen communities and create connections through the power of poetry and language.

Your donation will empower more First Nations primary and high school-aged children in regional areas to connect with culture, create stories and learn languages through poetry, performance, creativity and curriculum-based literacy programs with Custodians on country.

Your donation supports culture-sharing and the celebration of first languages through creative education whilst supporting cultural pride, resilience, authentic understandings and an enduring love of learning.

Your donation will help us engage more Elders, Language Custodians and First Nations poets to support the publishing of young and grown-up poet’s work, in unusual and impactful ways (on buses, murals, banners, rivers and embedded in community)

Find out more redroomcompany.org/projects/poetry-first-languages

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Vision
Our vision is to make poetry a meaningful part of everyday life.

Mission
We create poetic projects and learning programs in collaboration with a spectrum of poets, schools, communities and partners for positive social impact. Our mission is to make poetry accessible to all, especially those who face the greatest barriers to creative opportunities.

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