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CONNECT & 
CREATE 
with Kirli Saunders
Proud Gunai Woman | Award Winning Writer | Artist | Educator
November 5th - 12th 
 

Connect to Country at the intersection of Gundungurra, Yuin and Dharawal lands with  proud Gunai woman and award winning writer and artist, Kirli Saunders, at Springfield. Ground your creative process in the earth, and open yourself to new depths in writing and art. Explore the spaces where creative practice meets with planting, baking, words, art-making, movement and stillness. Channel your bold truth telling, and find connection as you create and reflect. Kirli will be joined by Local First Nations leaders and award winning guest writers.

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‘I watch the sand dance to your tides,

see the tannins

like tea 

tesselate upon your earthy limbs

 

I find my feet in the footholes 

of Our People 

long gone now 

 

And I know 

that this

Is where I belong’

~ Mother, (Guwayu 2020) Kirli Saunders

This Retreat Is For

 

Women of all walks, with a passion for all types of writing, truth telling, grounding and connection. Proud Gunai Woman, Kirli is an experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment, gender and racial equality and LGBTIQA+ rights. With Kirli, you’ll explore your own creative care, unpack and expand your creative process, experiment with prose and arts, plant trees and meditate each day. With masterclasses from award-winning creatives, and local artists, this offering is not to be missed. 

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INCLUSIONS​.

  • Tailored creative writing and arts workshops with experienced and award winning First Nations facilitators and writers each morning 

  • Editing support and critical feedback

  • One-on-one consultation with Kirli

  • An opportunity to present and discuss your current project

  • Afternoons free to rest, read, write, think, daydream and explore 

  • Exploration of creative care practices, focusing on mindfulness through the arts

  • A safer space, where all women are welcome

  • Time, space and support to create on the intersection of Gundungurra/Dharawal/Yuin lands

  • Nourishment of organic farm to table meals made with fresh produce straight from our very own veggie gardens. Vegetarian and vegan options. 

  • A week of luxury accomodation

  • Optional daily gentle morning yoga 

  • Meditations offered by a trained Yoga Teacher 

  • Optional massage, garden tours and bush walks 

  • Beautiful workshop studio 

  • Transfer to and from Bowral train station

  • Concierge staff and onsite laundry

LOCATION.

Springfield is situated on traditional lands that were shared by people of the Gundungurra, Dharawal and Yuin nations. Springfield is only five minutes drive from Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park.  

 

We are 15 minutes from Bowral, Moss Vale and Robertson in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW. The energy here has been described as peaceful, still and even soporific, making it an excellent place for connection and creation. 

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Meet The Author

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Dr Kate Forsyth

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning multidisciplinary creator and consultant. An experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment, gender and racial equality and LGBTIQA+ rights, Kirli was the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year (2020).

Kirli’s books, The 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, ABIAs, Kate Challis RAKA, 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 at the SHAC Gallery in 2021. 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.

Accolades. 

NSW Aboriginal Woman Of The Year 2020

Bindi, Winner WA Premiers Literary, Daisy Utemorrah Award

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

Bindi, Shortlist, 2021 Australian Book Designers Association Awards

Bindi, Shortlist, 2021 CBCA Awards

Bindi, Shortlist, 2021 Readings Children’s Book Prize

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

Judge, 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards,

Judge, 2020 Val Vallis Award

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

Kindred, Commended, 2020 Kate Challis RAKA Award

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 2020

Highly Commended Black&Write 2018

Australian Consulate General, Keynote Speaker, Chennai 2021

Australian Embassy Guest Writer, Jakarta & Bali 2019

CBCA Australia AAA conference Keynote Speaker 2021

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

Founder, Poetry in First Languages 2018

LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE, DON'T MISS OUT.

PROGRAM. 

Ground your creative process in the earth, and open yourself to new depths in writing and art. Explore the spaces where creative practice meets with planting, baking, words, art-making, movement and stillness. Kirli will be joined by Local First Nations leaders and award winning guest writers.

 

  • Tailored creative writing and arts workshops with experienced and award winning First Nations facilitators and writers each morning 

  • Editing support and critical feedback

  • One-on-one consultation with Kirli

  • An opportunity to present and discuss your current project

  • Afternoons free to rest, read, write, think, daydream and explore 

  • Exploration of creative care practices, focusing on mindfulness through the arts

  • A safer space, where all women are welcome

  • Time, space and support to create on the intersection of Gundungurra/Dharawal/Yuin lands

 

Daily tailored creative creative writing and arts workshops each morning will support you to ground your creative process in experimentation and mindfulness. At the intersection of planting, writing, artmaking, movement and stillness, participants will be guided to unpack their own creative process and projects in one-on-ones and group collaboration. 

 

Centering truth telling, grounding and connection on Country, this program will allow you to reflect, and pave paths forward for continued creation. 

The program includes time and space for you to write as well as one-on-one sessions with both Kirli and a bush walking on glorious Gundungurra, Dharawal and Yuin lands. 

 

  • Morning workshops and group discussions will offer writing prompts, poetry exercises, self-reflection guidance allowing for a deep understanding of your own  processes and projects. 

  • Afternoons will be free for you  to rest, read, write, think, daydream and explore, plus a half-hour one-on-one consultation with Kirli.

  • Incorporating writing, arts, baking, planting, bush walking and meditation, this retreat will provide ample opportunity to ground, connect and create. 

  • Evening salons before dinner each night will include readings of your own work, discussions regarding problems and fears, and sharing our exciting new discoveries and epiphanies.

  • The final day’s workshop will explore your roadblocks, self-commitments and flowfinding.

Read more of what our past guests have had to say here

PREPARATION. 

  • Watch Tidal.

  • Familiarise yourself  with the Glossies in the Mist Project.

  • Read Ali Cobby Eckerman’s Ruby Moonlight 

  • Read: Ellen Van Neerven Throat

  • Read Tara June Winch The Yield 

  • Read: How it Feels to Float (Helena Fox) 

  • Reflect: Kirli is an advocate and activist, she’s passionate about truth telling. She’s eager to know what grounds you, and what sets you on fire.

As numbers for this retreat are strictly limited (6-12) registration forms and deposit/payments must be received before your place is secured.

Original artwork by Kirli Saunders. 

ROOMS, PRICES AND ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is allocated according to availability and your first preference at the time of booking. We have two private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, if this is your preference please book  early. If you choose to share we’ll pair you with a like-minded roommate, or bring a friend!

Please explore room options and descriptions here before booking.

$2450* non-residential (includes all meals)

$3450* private room, shared bathroom: 

(Avocado Room, Indigo Room, Drover's Rest Rooms, Farm House Rooms)

$3950* private room with private ensuite:

(Rose Room, Blue Room)

*plus GST