books + writing


Our Dreaming, illustrated by Dub Leffler (Scholastic, 2021). This book shares the Yuin and Gundungurra Dreamings as were told to Kirli by her Elders.

Bindi II (Magabala, 2022) Illustrated by Dub Leffler. This sequel explores Care for Country through the lens of 11 year old Gundungurra raised Bindi.

Yana in The Bawa [Walk in the Bush] (Magabala, 2021) illustrated by David Cragg is an Early Childhood text, written with Gundungurra interpretations taught to Kirli by Gundungurra Elder, Aunty Velma Mulcahy & Language Custodian Trish Levett. As young readers join community for a walk in the bush, they will learn Gundungurra names for native animals.

Afloat (Hardie Grant 2023)  follows the story of an Elder teaching foraging and weaving practices to a child, to tie canoes together, to a form a raft to survive an incoming storm.  This text explores the themes of unity, oneness, reconciliation, strength, endurance and courage.

The Land Recalls You (Scholastic 2023) illustrated by David and Noni Cragg. This picture book tells the haunting story of Kirli’s Mother’s removal from her Yuin country in the early 1970s.

Yurwang (Magabala, 2023) featuring Gundungurra language, Yurwang [yer wong] is a junior picture book that honours the strength and reciprocity of First Nations Cultures. Yurwang surfaced as Kirli offered her legs, eyes and ears to her Elders, who were separated from Country due to isolation and disability. Through sharing Country virtually, Elders were able to teach and yarn remotely and access and share their land and wisdom.


Going Home is Kirli Saunders debut solo work commissioned by Playwriting Playwriting Australia. Integrating music, poetry, prose and language, Going Home seeks to offer solace, for First Nations People disconnected or displaced, here and overseas. It celebrates the survival of Our People and Our Ways and honours the Ancestors who guide us on our many varied paths. Inspired by Kirli’s journey, Going Home examines what it is to carry ‘home’ with you biologically, intergenerationally and genetically.

Dead Horse Gap is an original story set in a fictional NSW south coast town in the uneasy settlement period between 1850 and 1880. This a new theatre work is co-produced by Tathra-based company Crimson Rosella in partnership with Merrigong Theatre Company in Wollongong with industry leaders, Lindy Hume, Leland Kean (co-directing, musician/songwriter Heath Cullen, co-writer Kirli Saunders, digital artist Mic Gruchy, novelist Rohan Wilson, designer Katja Handt and lighting designer Damien Cooper.