Story-telling by Kirli Saunders at SD 5 Mengwitani, Badung on Tuesday.
Story-telling by Kirli Saunders at SD 5 Mengwitani, Badung on Tuesday.

BADUNG, Bali (BPN) – Indigenous Australian children’s author, poet and emerging playwright Kirli Saunders visited Bali on Tuesday. Bringing her passion to encourage children’s interest in reading, Saunders held story-telling event with teachers and students at SD (elementary school) 5 Mengwitani, Badung and with Bali Storytelling Community for Guwang Village children in Sukawati, Gianyar.

During her visit in Bali, Kirli Saunders also meets with children’s book authors at Indonesian Children Literary Foundation (YLAI) and poetry reading event with Indonesian poet Warih Wisatsana, which include sharing discussion about her experiences in poetry learning programs.

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A proud Gunai woman, 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 Consul-General in Bali, Anthea Griffin said Saunders’ visit demonstrates Australia’s commitment to promote connections between the Australia-Indonesia 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,” Griffin said.

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“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 Bali.”

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

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

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