media pack


Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning multidisciplinary creator and consultant. In 2020, Kirli was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.

Kirli’s booksThe Incredible Freedom Machines (2018, Scholastic), Kindred (2019, Magabala) and Bindi (2020, Magabala) have been celebrated by the Prime Minister’s, WA and Victorian Premier’s Literary, Kate Challis RAKA, ABIA, ABDA and CBCA awards. Her work is published in anthologies and public art. She has 8 forthcoming titles.

Kirli’s art has been exhibited in Shoalhaven and Wollongong Galleries and commissioned for public art across a range of sectors. With the support of Australia Council for the Arts, Kirli will hold her first solo poetic arts exhibition Returning in 2021. As a playwright, she is co-creating Dead Horse Gap with Merrigong Theatre and South East Arts. Her first Solo play, Going Home has been commissioned by Playwriting Australia, and will take the stage in 2022. Kirli is a board member for Merrigong Theatre, and an esteemed Judge for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.


NSW Aboriginal Woman Of The Year 2020

Kindred, Shortlisted, 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Indigenous Writing

Kindred, Shortlisted, 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards, Small Publishers’ Adult Book Of The Year

Kindred, Commended, 2020 Kate Challis Raka Award

Bindi, Winner WA Premiers Literary, Daisy Utemorrah Award

Bindi, Longlist, 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards, Small Publishers’ Children’s Book Of The Year

Bindi, Longlist, 2021 Australian Book Designers Association Awards

Bindi, CBCA Notables, 2021

The Incredible Freedom Machines, CBCA Notables, 2019

The Incredible Freedom Machines, Shortlisted for Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2019

The Incredible Freedom Machines, Shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards – Indigenous Children 2019

Winner of The University Of Canberra ATSI Poetry Prize 2019

Runner-up, The Nakata Brophy Prize 2018 And Shortlisted 2020

Highly Commended Black&Write 2018

Australian Consulate General, Keynote Speaker, Chennai 2021

Australian Embassy Guest Writer, Jakarta & Bali 2019

Esteemed judge for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

CBCA Australia AAA conference Keynote Speaker 2021

Esteemed judge QPF Val Vallis Award 2020

Founder, Poetry in First Languages 2018

Finalist in the Contemporary NOW Arts Prize 2019

Commissioned Artist, Wollongong Gallery, Shoalhaven Gallery 2020

Going Home Commissioned by Playwriting Australia 2020

Dead Horse Gap, co-writer, Merrigong Theatre 2019

Returning supported by Australia Council For the Arts 2020

Creative Development Scholarship Recipient, Magabala Books 2020

Writer, Google Creative Lab Indigenous Story Telling Project 2021

Board Member, Merrigong Theatre 2020-21


credit: Mark Newsham, 2020
credit: Salty Dingo Media 2020