Australian documentary In My Blood It Runs has ignited a campaign for change in the way First Nations children are treated in our schools and prisons.

Dujuan Hoosan (L) and Maya Newell (R). Image:

The documentary, by director Maya Newell, follows 10-year-old Arrente Aboriginal boy, Dujuan Hoosan, over three years of his childhood in Alice Springs.

In the film we see Dujuan struggle with conforming to an education system that conflicts with his own culture and history taught to him by his family.

Despite his clear intelligence and wisdom on his culture, he fails in school and police warn that he may be taken away from his parents.

The film has sparked a campaign to create an education system designed particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The idea is that students will be taught by First Nations people, and their education will include lessons about their culture, history and land.

The film not only highlights injustice in schools, but also issues within the criminal justice system.

Film makers aim to increase support for the #raisetheage of criminal responsibility movement.

They are encouraging the public to appeal to politicians to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years old.

Dujuan became the youngest person to address the United Nations Human Rights Council last September, when he told the United Nations Secretary that he wants “adults to stop cruelling 10-year old kids in jail”.

This is the harsh reality for many indigenous kids in Australia. Despite making up only 5% of the population, the latest report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that indigenous minors are 19-26 times more likely to be incarcerated than other Australians.

The Australian and New Zealand Children’s Commissioners and Guardians threw their combined support behind the #raisetheage campaign, when they called on the Council of Attorneys-General to move away from a “justice response” to a “developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed and culturally safe early intervention model that supports children in their families and communities”.

In My Blood it Runs is now screening in selected cinemas across Western Australia, after taking home prestigious awards and nominations for a number of film festivals last year including the Stronger than Fiction Film Festival, the Walkley Awards, the AACTA Awards, the Critics Circle Awards, Byron Bay Film Festival, the Social and Political Issues ATOM Awards and the Olympia Film Festival.

Brianna studies broadcasting, politics and international relations at ECU, and is passionate about topics including modern slavery, the climate crisis and equality. She is working towards a journalism career in all forms of media. She has done some recent volunteer work for Noongar Radio and has worked on promotional videos for Unisport Australia. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Bri on a netball court or at a recycled fashion market.

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