Giving voice to Kurnai youth

Kurnai College students Zara Hood, Jade Hiskins, Angel Parry, Shyann Parry, Kayla Haddock. Photos: Contributed

LONGFORD filmmaker Danielle McAlpine Johnson has a documentary airing on Network 10 this Saturday, July 8.

Stop. Rewind. Play is a poignant, raw exploration of the inherent racism Kurnai youth face, amid overcoming challenges living in one of the lowest socioeconomic regions of Victoria, Australia: the Latrobe Valley.

This documentary shares the voice of Gippsland Indigenous youth and after many months of advocacy, will go to air on Network 10 tomorrow at 1pm.

Ms McAlpine Johnson wrote and directed the film.

“These children are awe inspiring in all they continue to overcome,” she said.

“It was such a privilege to co-labour with them to share their voice, their way. We can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future.”

Gippsland Indigenous youth have their voices heard in the documentary.

Kurnai College principal Anthony Rodaughan is featured in the documentary.

“I’ve been a principal for 20 years. And I don’t think it’s ever been harder to be a kid,” Mr Rodaughan says in Stop. Rewind. Play.

“There’s so much pressure on kids and they’re so worried about what’s happening in their world and what’s happening to their world. And these particular kids, our Indigenous kids at Kurnai are dealing with intergenerational trauma and profound disadvantage sometimes.

Mr Rodaughan believes that Kurnai children aren’t given the respect they deserve.

“I desperately want them to stay at school, to achieve things in their life that they want to achieve and to be able to resolve some of these issues that they’ve inherited so they can get over some of that pain and go forward and be great people,” he said.

The 30-minute documentary will air tomorrow (July 8) at 1pm on Network Ten.