“We are very grateful that our writer-in-residence, Ms Kirsten Fogg, fondly known as Miss Kiki at school, has been holding creative writing sessions regularly in our library at lunchtimes for the past two years [2015-2017]. As part of our Book Week celebrations, Kirsten also gave engaging hands-on lessons during class time to our junior and senior students. The students surprised themselves with the way their language unfolded and developed through the fun, kinaesthetic activities, resulting in some delightful poems and musings.

Kirsten’s sessions focus on the students’ self-empowerment through the creative use of language, using their senses and imagery to create rich descriptions of their experience. She helps the refugee and immigrant students build their own “sense of belonging,” so that they not only feel that they belong to their new place, but also to their new language. Developing the students’ sense of belonging on all levels then helps them to form an integrated identity.

Thank you Miss Kiki from all of us here at Milpera SHS, for your time, care, compassion and expertise! You have made a very special and significant contribution to the well-being of our students, their language development, and their sense of belonging.”

Milpera, “a meeting place of brothers and sisters”, is an intensive English-language school for young people of refugee and migrant background. It helps children settle in Australia and aims to create a strong sense of belonging “through carefully chosen learning experiences, an extensive extra-curricular program and by valuing the cultural identity of each student.”