Filmmaker and proud Biripi man Grant Saunders, from the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, said one of his end goals as he works on his documentary Break It Down Under, is to see hip hop incorporated into school classrooms on a day-to-day basis.
"There's so many positive aspects and I want the education system to recognise that," he said.
"You could have ongoing and lasting positive impact on our young people."
Grant said parts of the United States use it full time in the curriculum and hip hop is a proven way to retain disenfranchised youth from under-privileged backgrounds.
He feels it would be an effective educational tool that would work in Australia too. Not only to retain our Indigenous youth but to educate all Australian students about matters of social justice in this country and to engender empathy for Indigenous people.
"The lyrics and content speak to Aboriginal history, politics and social justice.
"It can be taught in history, social studies, music, English and Aboriginal studies classrooms."
He said results in young people from hip hop workshops conducted outside the classroom have shown improved self-esteem, literacy, physical and mental health.
And while Grant recognises the good work that schools are doing in teaching Indigenous culture and language, he feels not enough is being done to teach students the real history of this country.
The lyrics and content speak to Aboriginal history, politics and social justice. It can be taught in history, social studies, music, English and Aboriginal studies classrooms.- Grant Saunders
"I would like to see more contact history taught, warts and all, and the racist government assimilation policies enacted to control Indigenous lives and disrupt Indigenous culture, communities and families.
"By knowing this history students will be able to better appreciate our current social justice and political concerns and what we are up against today.
"Our schools should also teach about the many positive contributions that Indigenous people have made in establishing Australia's economy, starting with helping Australia's so called 'explorers' to find water and food, navigate them to coal deposits and expand the frontier, often for no pay. The cattle and sheep industries, the pearling and whaling industries were all borne from Indigenous slave labour.
"Some schools do teach these truths but many don't, and Aboriginal education is not consistent from school to school.
"Knowing this history will lead to a better appreciation and empathy for Indigenous people and can do much toward ending racism."
Grant documentary uses hip hop music to shine a light on social justice issues impacting Indigenous communities including police brutality, over-policing, over-incarceration and Aboriginal deaths in custody.
"What I wanted to do was give more social, political and historical context to the lyrics, using film archive, newsreel footage and other experts to speak to what the artists are writing about."
Studying a Doctor of Creative Arts through the University of Technology in Sydney, Grant is creating the film as his major creative work and will also submit a 30,000-word paper to support the film, which he also hopes to publish.
Now, he is seeking funding to complete the project and has started a crowdfunding campaign as well as working on a submission to reapply for Screen Australia funding, with the next round closing in July.
To support Break It Down Under, check this out.