Ask the important questions together with your class. 

How we can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to have equal access to education and make classrooms safe and respectful places for all students?

When Dujuan cannot run nor fight alone, he faces the history that runs straight into him and realises that he has not only inherited the trauma and dispossession of his land, but also the resilience and resistance of many generations of his people. 

The intimacy of the film and the delicacy with which it has represented the complex struggles of Dujuan and his family’s lives has been achieved through a deep and collaborative process between the filmmaking team and the family.

“They ask us to make our children ready for school, but why can’t we make schools ready for our children?”
– Margaret Kemarre Turner, Arrernte Elder And Film Advisor

Watching the Film – Teacher Preparation

In My Blood It Runs is an intimate and compassionate observational documentary from the perspective of a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Australia, who is faced with the challenge of balancing his identity as a First Nations child with state education.

It is essential that teachers watch the In My Blood It Runs documentary in full before showing it to students. There are many themes, concepts and events in the film that teachers need to be aware of and reflect upon so that they can provide sufficient safety and support for students.

In My Blood it Runs is classified as PG, and resources aim to ensure schools are safe learning spaces for all students by expanding our knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and worldviews.

We recommend that before you teach the lessons, you have accessed the free professional learning resource, which has been co-developed by Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali team, and watched the film with your class. 

You can watch In My Blood it Runs currently on Netflix, Kanopy and Vimeo on Demand. If you would like to purchase a DVD copy, you can do so on the IMBIR website.

Secondary Resources

Before the Film: Identity – English – Years 9 & 10

Students examine some of the ways in which identity can be constructed and understood. Examining the first scene from the film, students think about the filmic techniques used by the creators to engage with the key theme of identity.

Before the Film: Diverse Perspectives – English – Years 9 & 10

Investigate and discuss how Australian histories are explored by the film. Students critically explore the relationship between Aboriginal histories & European histories in the context of the film.

The Rights of the Child – Civics and Citizenship – Years 9 & 10

Explore events surrounding the film, including Dujuan’s address to the United Nations. Students are given the opportunity to consider the rights of Indigenous peoples, using the film as an anchor.

Self-Determination – English – Years 9 & 10

Students explore the theme of self-determination in the film, and analyse how self-determination for Dujuan and his family is baked into the film-making process itself. 

Speaking Power – English – Years 9 & 10

Students select their own actions to reduce plastic waste before thinking about their sphere of influence and how they can share messages and actions about plastic waste with the people in their lives.

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United Nations: Global discussion

The star of In My Blood It Runs, Dujuan addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to call on the Australian Government to treat kids like him better.

Dujuan’s address occurred after filming, and has been incorporated in the third lesson addressing the Rights of the Child.

“It has had an influence upon my thinking that will not leave me.”
– Honorable Martin Hinton, Director Of Public Prosecutions SA

Professional Development

The Stronger Smarter Institute and Reconciliation Australia have developed easy to access professional learning for teachers to assist in delivering some of the challenging themes. If you have not yet undertaken cultural training you can find out more at In My Blood It Runs Professional Development.

A note from the film team:

The truths of our nation’s history since colonisation/invasion have not been typically taught in schools and universities, and if they have, they may have been taught in ways that marginalise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. As such, it is not uncommon for educators to feel unsure about how to approach teaching about the injustices committed against Australia’s First Nations peoples, and about how these past wrongs can continue to have an impact today.

In My Blood It Runs recognises this challenge and encourages educators to engage in ongoing learning and reflection, which may involve processes of “unlearning” and “relearning”— challenging assumptions and recognising that what was previously taught in schools about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures may have been inaccurate or incomplete. The film team and education partners strongly encourage educators to further their understanding of themes in the film by taking up Professional Development opportunities.

With Thanks to Our Partners

Cool Australia would like to thank the In My Blood It Runs Advisory Committee who supported the writing of this resource. Special thanks to Alanna Raymond, Tessa Keenan, Stephanie Woerde, Esma Livermore and Julie Bover from Reconciliation Australia, Alex Shain from Shark Island, Maria Katsabanis from Australian Human Rights Commission, Renee Phillips from National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition, and Keren Shlezinger.

Closer Productions is a collective of award-winning filmmakers based in Adelaide, South Australia. The Closer team has created entertaining and provocative documentary, drama and virtual reality films, which have screened in cinemas, TV, art galleries and at major festivals around the world. Closer creates work for all kinds of screens and many different audiences.  Closer also operate a services arm catering to a broad range of clients across education, business and the arts.

© 2022 Closer Productions and Cool Australia.

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