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The Web Series That’s Teaching The Stuff Everyone Should Know About Australia

We spoke to director Michael Hudson about the web series that celebrates First Nations history and culture.

Michael Hudson is a proud Bangarang and Yorta Yorta man from northeast Victoria. Growing up he always found himself telling stories and found films to be the perfect escape. Nearing his 30th birthday, Michael self-funded his first short film, Leonids, as an homage to the early work of Steven Spielberg.

“That took a couple of years to make and, for me, that was my film school,” Michael told 10 play.

He then had the opportunity to make his first funded film, Ties That Bind, which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2019, winning Event Cinema’s Best Short Australian Screenplay Award.

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“It solidified the fact that I’m probably okay and I might be on the right path,” Michael said, laughing. “That’s been three years now and things have been hectic since.”

Now, Michael reunites with one of the stars of Ties That Bind, Elaine Crombie, who hosts the web series Stuff Everyone Should Know About Australia.

Season two features four episodes in which Elaine and the team meet First Nations people from across the east coast, who share their knowledge on a range of topics.

“We’re always thinking what are interesting stories,” Michael said, adding, “What’s something that people might not know or - obviously - should know.”

Related Article: Celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021 By Watching Documentary Web Series, Stuff Everyone Should Know About Australia

With such a broad range of topics to pick from, Michael said the team had a long list of subjects they wanted to tackle in the second season.

“We had a good list of subjects and topics for each of the episodes,” Michael said, “some of which we carried over from last year but there’s too many! Where do I begin?

“We chose subject matter and, for me, it was going -- okay there are interesting aspects of that but I don’t know the whole story. And that’s why I tried to connect with the person who is able to tell that story,” Michael said.

“I tried not to do all this research prior to, I just went there and was present to try and learn on country by people who tell these stories. To me, that was awesome.”

A self-professed horror buff, Michael said he had been influenced by the stories he was told by his grandmother, a Bangarang Elder.

“I love my culture and a lot of the stories I was told were mookie stories - mookie is like a scary being, ghost or spiritual, something scary - so the idea that our spiritualism is very much connected to our culture, that was exciting and hadn’t been done a lot.”

The series can be enjoyed by anyone at any age, with Elaine’s hilarious commentary guiding viewers through each episode’s topic.

“Bringing Elaine on to host the show, she’s a larger-than-life character and she bridges that gap between hard knowledge and making it fun,” Michael explained.

“What’s also evident in our culture — obviously there’s been a lot of oppression over the years but it has never hindered or destroyed our sense of humour. I think that’s a huge part of how we navigate life and that’s how we overcome some of the adversities that we’ve had to face, making each other laugh.”

Season two of Stuff Everyone Should Know About Australia is available to watch on 10 play on demand.

And if you want more, catch up on season one now.