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Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman with ties to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Gadigal and Biripi people. Kirli is the Manager of Poetic Learning and Aboriginal Cultural Liaison at Red Room Poetry and founder of the Poetry in First Languages project. She was awarded ‘Worker of the Year 2017’ at the NAIDOC Awards in the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven region and was nominated for a national NAIDOC Award in 2018. Her first children’s picture book, The Incredible Freedom Machines, illustrated by Matt Ottley (Scholastic 2018), was selected for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and is published internationally.
Kirli’s poetry has been published by Cordite and Overland and is embedded in infrastructure at Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. Her poem ‘A dance of hands’ was Runner-up in the 2018 Nakata Brophy Prize. Kirli has been a Writer in Residence at Bundanon Trust, Q Station and The Literature Centre, Fremantle for ‘The Sound of Picture Books’.