Dujuan Hoosan is an Arrernte and Garrwa boy from Alice Springs. You might recognise him from the award-winning 2019 documentary ‘In My Blood It Runs’. The documentary follows Dujuan, who speaks three languages, as he struggles to stay engaged at a Western school, which teaches its students that Australian history began when Captain Cook landed on the shores of Botany Bay in 1770.
Referring to the dreamtime, a significant time for First Nations People when the Ancestral Spirits progressed over the land and created life and important physical geographic formations and sites, one of his teachers said it was ‘a bit confusing’. The inequality does not escape Dujuan.
“The history that we’re told at home is in language and it’s about the Aborigines. But the ones back at school, that was for white people, not for Aboriginals. The white people teach the Aboriginals to act like them. To be like them.”
After repeatedly running away from school and home to play with other boys in his community, Dujuan found himself into trouble with the police and local authorities. He was forced to confront, at age 10, the reality that he could be sent to youth detention.
While Dujuan was lucky enough to avoid this fate, around 600 Indigenous children are incarcerated every year.
After the film’s release, Dujuan travelled to Geneva, becoming the youngest person to address the UN Human Rights Council. In his speech he talked about the changes he wanted to see in Australia.
"I want my school to be run by Aboriginal.
people. I want my future to be out on
land with strong culture and language."
Dujuan’s story highlights the importance of culturally-safe education and support for Indigenous children.
UNICEF Australia partner with the Moriarty Foundation who have developed locally-led initiatives, such as Indi Kindi and John Moriarty Football programs, to give Indigenous children the best start to life and develop skills to give them a brighter future.
You can watch In My Blood It Runs here.