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Books

  • The Incredible Freedom Machines by Kirli Saunders
  • Kindred by Kirli Saunders
  • Bindi by Kirli Saunders
  • Our Dreaming by Kirli Saunders

Kirli Saunders OAM

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Kirli Saunders (OAM) is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning multidisciplinary artist and consultant. An experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment and equality, Kirli was the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year (2020). In 2022, she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to the arts, particularly literature.

Kirli’s books, The Incredible Freedom Machines (2018, Scholastic), Kindred (2019, Magabala) and Bindi (2020, Magabala) and Our Dreaming (2022, Scholastic) have been celebrated by the Prime Minister’s, QLD, WA, Adelaide, Victorian Premier’s Literary, ABIAs, Kate Challis RAKA, Speech Pathology, ABDA and CBCA awards.

Her 2023 forthcoming titles include a visual poetry collection, Returning (Magabala), and a picture book, Afloat (Hardie Grant). Her writing features in magazines and journals including Vogue, National Geographic, Kill Your Darlings, and in public art with partners, Red Room Poetry, Aesop, and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria. In 2023, assisted by Australia Council for the Arts (AUSCO), Kirli will develop her debut novel, Yaraman.

Kirli’s first Solo play, Going Home has been commissioned by Australian Plays Transform and is being developed with Merrigong theatre, directed by Shari Sebbens.

Kirli’s solo visual arts exhibition, Returning, showed at SHAC Gallery in Nov-Dec 2021 and was supported AUSCO. Her work has been exhibited at Shoalhaven Regional, Wollongong Regional, Good Space, Red Earth Arts Precinct, Cement Fondu, First Draft & Bundanon Trust Galleries. Her art has been commissioned by Fender X Children’s Ground, and in public art with State, and Local Government. She was a collaborating artist for VIVID, with TRACES alongside Kamsani Bin Salleh, Google, and Magabala at Sydney Opera House.

Kirli holds a Bachelor in Education (Hons) from UOW and facilitates DEI workshops for corporate and government with significant experience in cultural liaison and project management. She created Poetry in First Languages, Re[ad]generate and Returning. All were delivered in partnerships and with many First Nations collaborators and industry partners. Kirli was a member of the working group behind the CreateNSW Aboriginal Arts and Culture Protocols and is member of Merrigong’s First Nations Advisory Group and has consulted to international technological, education, fashion, conservation and arts organisations and projects.

Kirli has experience in live television broadcasts and has been Master of Ceremonies, Keynote speaker, chair and panelist for Government and Corporate events across a range of settings.
In 2022, Kirli Saunders took to the runway with First Nations Fashion and Design for Australian Afterpay Fashion Week. She has modeled for Seed, Witchery, and Zoe Kratzmann and partnered with a range of brands including Spotify, Mecca and Qantas.

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