Thank You Thursday: A new education of hope

In My Blood It Runs is a powerful ‘observational feature documentary’ about 10-yr-old Arrernte Aboriginal boy, Dujuan, growing up in Alice Springs in Central Australia. I watched it recently and was moved by its candour and insightful look into the shortfalls of education for Aboriginal children. 

Directed and produced by Maya Newell, In My Blood It Runs highlights the need for a First Nations led education system in Australia, with advisors to the film wanting two key messages to shine through;

  1. Aboriginal people love and care for their children, and;
  2. Aboriginal people have agency to find their own solutions

Interestingly, advisors to the film are the directors, educators and grandmothers who lead Children’s Ground, a non-profit organisation with objective of allowing children to grow into adults, in control of their social, cultural, political and economic life.

Founded by CEO Jane Vadiveloo and Chair William Tilmouth in 2011, Children’s Ground is changing the status quo for the next generation, preventing pathways to welfare and prison by transforming education and creating hope and opportunity. It is a 25-year approach to ensure agency for children and families over their social, cultural, political and economic futures.

Children’s Ground has a unique approach, not just because of their service delivery, but because of how they operate too. They work across five intersecting platforms: learning, health, economic wellbeing, culture and community.

Ending entrenched intergenerational disadvantage requires change in three areas which Children’s Ground are working toward:

  • Community Change: Families members together enjoying opportunity and with the voice of local people controlling their lives.
  • Systems Change: Access to quality services which privilege first culture by meeting the long-term needs of communities.
  • Society Change: Collaboration to celebrate the nation’s identity with inclusion and respect for First Nations history and culture.

The Children’s Ground vision is a world where all children and families live with dignity and are free from economic poverty and inequity.

Next week is Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June), and it’s said that Australia’s ability to move forward as a nation relies on individuals, organisations and communities coming together in the spirit of reconciliation. Watching this film and learning more about organisations like Children’s Ground are just some small steps we can all make in building positive relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. .

So, this Thank You Thursday, we’re giving a shout out to Jane Vadiveloo and William Tilmouth for founding such a forward-thinking organisation, to Maya Newell for developing such a thought-provoking film and to Dujuan Hoosan for having the courage to speak so honestly and share your story. 

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick

P.S Here is a trailer of In My Blood It Runs and I’d highly recommend it.