In My Blood It Runs Book Launch + Discussion

On 7 March, the Research Centre for Deep History, in collaboration with the AIATSIS Education team, hosted a launch and discussion of the new children’s book by authors Dujuan Hoosan, Margaret Anderson and Carol Turner, In My Blood It Runs, at the Harry Hartog bookstore at ANU.  The book is based on the award-winning 2019 observational documentary film,  In My Blood It Runs , directed by Maya Newell. It tells the story of Dujuan Hoosan, a 10-year-old Arrernte and Garawa boy. A wise, funny, cheeky boy, Dujuan is in trouble at school – where the teachers say he is failing and in danger of expulsion – and in town with the police, who say he is at risk of being locked up. 

The event was well attended by an engaged and interested crowd of students, school teachers academics and educators, and was MCd by Sara Tomkins, Acting Director of AIATSIS Education. The launch commenced with a Welcome to Country from Selina Walker.  Attendees next heard from Dujuan Hoosan in a pre-recorded clip at the book’s launch in Mparntwe, where he spoke about his motivations for writing the books, and his hopes for the impact it might have on children and policy-makers alike.  

Angie Hastie, member of the AIATSIS education team, spoke about the team’s new learning resources produced for curriculum areas Humanities and Social Sciences: Civic and Citizenship; Heath and Physical Education: Identities and change; English: Literature and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Cross-curriculum Priorities. The team made available hard copies at the launch– all of which were snapped up– along with supporting materials to support teachers. The resource based on In My Blood it Runs is now available via the AIATSIS website here. 

Eli Archer, a teacher educator at University of Canberra, Steph Isbester, education consultant at NIYEC, and Dan Greene, assistant director of AIATSIS education, took part in a panel discussion facilitated by Beth Marsden. Panelists reflected on what resonated with them in the book, their advice to educators to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to feel strong in their identities, and how schools can better recognise and celebrate the knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students bring with them to school.  The audience continued the discussion about self-determination, schooling and learning for Indigenous students over refreshments.  

A huge thank you to Sara Tomkins, Rach Armstrong, Angie Hastie and Eleni Serras from AIATSIS Education for all their work towards the event, to AIATSIS for co-sponsoring the event alongside the Research Centre for Deep History, and to Katherine Aigner for the fantastic photos.