Australian Embassy

Indigenous Australian Children’s Author and Poet Visits Indonesia

29 July 2019

Indigenous Australian children’s author, poet and emerging playwright Kirli Saunders visits Indonesia this week.  Bringing her passion to encourage children's interest in reading, Ms Saunders will run a story-telling event with Rimba Baca library and Hello Library community. During her visit, Ms Saunders also meets students, authors, poets, book publishers and arts hubs in Jakarta and Bali to share her experiences in poetry learning programs.

A proud Gunai woman, Ms Saunders is the founder of the Poetry in First Languages program at Red Room Poetry in Sydney. The program promotes poetry in Australia’s Indigenous languages and has already delivered workshops to thousands of students and community members around Australia.

Australian Chargé d’Affaires Allaster Cox said Ms Saunders’ visit demonstrates Australia’s commitment to promote connections between the Australian-Indonesian literature and arts communities.

“This program also celebrates the International Year of Indigenous Languages and raises awareness of the crucial role languages play in people’s daily lives,” Mr Cox said.

“Language diversity is something that Australia and Indonesia have in common. I am very pleased that Ms Saunders will share her expertise on language preservation with audiences in Jakarta and Bali.”

Ms Saunders’ visit is part of the Australian Embassy’s celebration of National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week, an annual event held each July to honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

2019 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Indigenous Languages which recognises the pivotal role language plays in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development.

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