A 12-year-old Australian boy has become the youngest person to speak at the United Nations, demanding Australia stop putting children as young as 10 in jail. Dujuan Hoosan asked delegates as people in positions of power to learn from his own story and to build support for Aboriginal-led education models that would help prevent youth offending and support their connection to their culture and language. You can watch his speech here.
Dujuan is from Aranda and Garrwa country in Central Australia, can speak three languages, is a traditional healer and is the star of a documentary film called ‘In My Blood It Runs’. Yet he said that he felt like a failure in school, got bad marks and at the age of 10, was nearly sent to jail.
‘In My Blood It Runs’ follows the charismatic young ‘healer,’ Dujuan, and his family as they share their experiences trying to prevent Dujuan from entering the criminal justice system. After becoming increasingly disengaged from school, Dujuan soon comes under the watchful eye of the police and welfare agencies. But through the love and support of his family and community, Dujuan has been able to avoid falling into the justice system and has begun a powerful campaign to raise the awareness of addressing systemic racism that young Aboriginal children too often face.
Indigenous Education & Boarding Australia would encourage all to watch this film and to share its message of ‘children having access to culturally safe, inclusive schools; addressing systemic racism in all our institutions; and preventing the criminalisation of young children like Dujuan, including reforms to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility’
Dujuan’s documentary is set for release, see trailer here.