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 work towards engaging in a debate around the power of the media. Students use footage from The Final Quarter to critically consider how media leverages its power and influence. They will find evidence of both the media’s power and lack of power, before they prepare their arguments for the debate. Students then reflect upon their position and consider how they may have developed, changed or adapted their stance.

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 sources of, and barriers to, power for the media.
  • Students understand what constitutes evidence of the media’s power.
  • Students understand how the media does, and does not, exercise power over others.

21st century skills: 

Critical ThinkingFlexibilityProblem FindingSocial SkillsTeam Work 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English:

  • Analyse how the construction and interpretation of texts, including media texts, can be influenced by cultural perspectives and other texts (ACELY1739)
  • Use interaction skills to present and discuss an idea and to influence and engage an audience by selecting persuasive language, varying voice tone, pitch, and pace, and using elements such as music and sound effects (ACELY1811)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse texts, comparing and evaluating representations of an event, issue, situation or character in different texts (ACELY1744)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-2A, EN5-3B, EN5-8D

General capabilities: Literacy, Intercultural Understanding, Creative and Critical Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.6, OI,9)

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, comparing and evaluating responses to ideas and issues.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Mechanisms Of Power – English – Year 9

Time required: 80 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and debate.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: media, power, The Final Quarter, documentary, Adam Goodes, debate, control, influence.

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:

  • … sources of and barriers to power for the media.
  • … what constitutes evidence of the media’s power.
  • … how the media does, and does not, exercise power over others.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify their prior perspectives.
  • … identify evidence to support and disprove a claim.
  • … make an argument using evidence.
  • … listen to the arguments of others and refute them.

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 years of his career in 2013 - 2015, until he retired from the game. 

Because he was one of the most acclaimed players in the AFL, A

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Unfortunately, a lot of people take what's said in the media to be gospel, so it's important that there's balance in any debate.” ~ Andrew Krakouer

The Media’s Power

1. Read the quotes below and explain your position on them:

Quote Do you agree/disagree or partially agree/disagree? Why?
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”
– Jim Morrison
“When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.”
– Thomas L. Friedman

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”.
– Malcom X

2. Watch this video:

Media Effects (

Think about ‘the media’ and complete the table below, considering what the video showed you about sources of power.

Sources of power Barrie
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