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Welcome to Wollongong’s Home of the Performing Arts

Kirli Saunders

MERRIGONGX Artist Profile


Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman, award-winning international writer, teacher, consultant and artist and was named the 2020 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.   

Artist Statement

Let me start by acknowledging, that I write this on Gundungurra Country. My family came to be here after they were removed from Yuin
lands. Like many First Nations families, we have a strong history of dispossession, relocation, oppression and control as a result of Government policy and colonisation.

This history of disconnection is something I’ve been healing from for the last decade, through writing, making art, teaching and researching. I have spent hours yarning with family, tracing our ties, hiking sacred mountains, and sipping cuppas with Elders who hold the stories of my Grandparents.

Going Home (working title), centres around my journey of homecoming and reconnection, back on Gunai Land. It’s my hope that this work will celebrate the strength, resilience and warmth of First Nations communities and offer solace for those similarly disconnected or displaced. This work would not be possible without the support of Elders, Custodians and Family on Gundungurra, Yuin, Dharawal and Gunai Countries. – Kirli Saunders

Playwriting Australia has selected this project for their Ignition Script Development program and is one of just seven successful applicants.



Listen to our MERRIGONGX Conversations podcast to hear our Artistic Development Manager Leland Kean chat to Kirli Saunders about her artistic career and process.




Reserve your spot here to the development showing of Going Home

Coming Up…