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Red Room Poetry expands Poetry in First Languages schools program to QLD, NT, ACT

Red Room Poetry is expanding its Poetry in First Languages (PIFL) program in 2019 to include Queensland, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

The PIFL program teaches poetry, music, dance and art to school students in years 3–11 to ‘celebrate, share and preserve knowledge of First Nations language and culture’.

A three-year Copyright Agency Cultural Fund grant supported the inaugural program in NSW in 2018, which reached more than 350 First Nations students, 500 community members and more than 1,500 non-First Nations students. The program published more than 300 poems in 11 First Nations languages, reaching more than 300,000 people through live performances and public place displays.

Gunai poet and PIFL program leader Kirli Saunders said of the 39 schools and communities visited in 2018, just two employed language custodians. ‘A program like PIFL is instrumental in instilling confidence in First Nations children about their language, their identity and their culture,’ said Saunders. ‘We saw the children engage in rewarding and enriching experiences as they learned new First Nations language skills and how to express themselves through poetry.’

Poems created at the workshops will be hosted on the Red Room Poetry website and in public art installations. An anthology of First Languages poetry is being developed for release in 2020.

For more information about the PIFL 2019 program, click here.



Category: Local news