Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Retired AFL star Adam Goodes is known to many for his resilient journey in the face of detrimental treatment by AFL spectators and the media beginning in 2013.

In this lesson students will learn about archival documentary filmmaking conventions and apply their analytical skills to scenes from The Final Quarter. Students explore the way mood and message is created for the audience by the editor and director. Students will gain an appreciation of the work of Shark Island Productions and the power of archival documentary to communicate public messages of importance.

Using only archival footage aired at the time, The Final Quarter holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field. Learn more about the film here.

We highly recommend that students view the film in its entirety before participating in subsequent lessons. Our Watching the Film lessons are designed to support you in facilitating this process. Given the content, it is also important for teachers to communicate with parents and guardians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students before playing the film and/or engaging with the teaching and learning resources. 

Note: This film may not be suitable for viewing by all young people. Teachers are advised to use their discretion when deciding whether to show this film. If teaching in a context with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, it is imperative that guidance is sought from the Principal and Aboriginal Education Officer (or equivalent) prior to screening the film.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how technical and symbolic codes are used by the director of The Final Quarter to create powerful meaning for the audience.
  • Students understand the definition of archival documentary and the process of selection and omission to construct meaning for the audience.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 9 & 10 Media Arts:

  • Evaluate how technical and symbolic elements are manipulated in media artworks to create and challenge representations framed by media conventions, social beliefs and values for a range of audiences (ACAMAR078)

  • Analyse a range of media artworks from contemporary and past times to explore differing viewpoints and enrich their media arts making, starting with Australian media artworks, including media artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and international media artworks (ACAMAR079)

Syllabus outcomes: PDM5.8, PDM5.9

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.9)

Relevant parts of Years 9 & 10 achievement standards: By the end of Year 10, students analyse how social and cultural values and alternative points of view are portrayed in media artworks they make, interact with and distribute. They evaluate how genre and media conventions and technical and symbolic elements are manipulated to make representations and meaning. They evaluate how social, institutional and ethical issues influence the making and use of media artworks.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Assembling Archival Footage – Media Arts – Years 9 & 10

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – introduce new concepts and facilitate discussions and activities.

Resources required:

Keywords: film, documentary, analysis, analyse, media, The Final Quarter, archival, footage, conventions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, AFL, footy, football, perspective, point of view, techniques, editing.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand...

  • … how technical and symbolic codes are used by the director of The Final Quarter to create powerful meaning for the audience.
  • … understand the definition of archival documentary and the process of selection and omission to construct meaning for the audience.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... identify different documentary making techniques.
  • ... consider the various ways mood and meaning are created in archival documentaries.
  • … write an analysis based on the conventions of archival documentaries.

Teacher content information:

This lesson will be centred around the acclaimed 2019 documentary, The Final Quarter. This film explores the detrimental treatment of AFL star Adam Goodes and the media and community responses. An Aboriginal player, and number 37 for the Sydney Swans, Adam Goodes was singled out for verbal abuse, booing and jeering by spectators from a range of clubs during the last three yea

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “I felt it was important to hold a mirror up to the nation, to listen again to what was said and what had been heard. Everyone had already revealed themselves.” ~ Ian Darling, Director of THE FINAL QUARTER

The importance of The Final Quarter

1. Answer the following questions:

How is The Final Quarter unlike other documentaries you have seen?


The Final Quarter was made by Shark Island Productions, an independent film production company. Being independent means they are not owned by a major media company. They specialise in creating documentaries that educate the public about important social issues. Why might companies like Shark Island Productions be beneficial for the Australian media industry and Australian audiences in general?


Given that Adam Goodes retired in 2015, why do you think Shark Island Productions thought it important to share the Adam Goodes story with audiences four years later? How do you think this film is relevant for Australia today?

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.