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Why this film about Indigenous children needs your support

In My Blood It Runs
Image Source: Chuffed/In My Blood It Runs

The director behind a new film that explores Indigenous Australian children’s access to education has launched a crowdfunding initiative ahead of the documentary’s premiere.

Director Maya Newell is asking Australians to donate towards a $16.5k target so 10-year-old Dujuan and his Arrernte and Garrwa families, who star in In My Blood It Runs, can attend the premiere at Sydney Film Festival later this month.

“Our challenge is that Dujuan and his family, and our film advisors are from remote Northern Territory and it’s really expensive to travel to Sydney,” Maya wrote on the official Chuffed fundraising page.

“Four of the family live in Borroloola Community in the Gulf of Carpentaria and another seven from Alice Springs in the Central Desert. Flights alone will cost over $8,500 to get to Sydney and with accommodation, food, clothes, we will need $16,500 for the trip all up.”

In My Blood It Runs follows Dujuan as he vies to get a good education while facing the increasing pressure and scrutiny from police and welfare officers.

His parents try to provide him with Arrernte education alongside his western education, and he’s described as a child-healer who can speak three languages.

According to director Newell, this documentary shines a light on the voices Australia rarely hears amongst politicians and public figures’ discussions about educating Indigenous children – the voices of the children themselves.

She describes Dujuan’s journey as one where he faces “an education system not built for him, a juvenile justice system out to lock him up and a child protection system threatening to remove him from his family”.

The start of Reconciliation Week on Monday saw Ken Wyatt announced as Australia’s first Indigenous person to be appointed Minister for Indigenous Australians.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was committed to “getting an outcome” on constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians.

“My priorities for Indigenous Australians are to ensure Indigenous kids are in school and getting an education, that young Indigenous Australians are not taking their own lives and that there are real jobs for Indigenous Australians so they can plan for their future with confidence like any other Australian,” he said. 

Film director Newell says an impact campaign will be launched off the back o the documentary’s release, designed by the Arrernte and Garrwa families, as well as Elders and leaders in the film.

“We aim to enact their impact goals to tackle racism, support a First Nations led education system and advocate for a restorative approach to juvenile justice in Australia,” she said in a press statement.

To show your support for In My Blood It Runs, click here.

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