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 gain the knowledge and skills to evaluate how power can be used by large organisations (such as the AFL) and to analyse how audiovisual and written texts convey this use of power. Using a drama activity, students will explore the concept of hard and soft power. Students then analyse the use of power and its intended impact on Adam Goodes and others in The Final Quarter. Students then analyse an AFL policy document, seeking to understand how it shows the AFL’s use of power. Drawing upon the knowledge gained throughout the class, students are asked to share and justify their opinions of the organisation’s actions, both verbally and in writing.

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 the difference between hard and soft power.
  • Students understand the impacts of the use of power.
  • Students understand how power can be used effectively or ineffectively.

21st century skills: 

Critical ThinkingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingInitiativeProblem FindingProblem SolvingSocial SkillsTeam Work 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 English:

  • Listen to spoken texts constructed for different purposes, for example, to entertain and to persuade, and analyse how language features of these texts position listeners to respond in particular ways (ACELY1740)
  • 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: EN5-1A, EN5-2A

General capabilities: Literacy, Intercultural Understanding, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding

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

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They select evidence from texts to analyse and explain how language choices and conventions are used to influence an audience. They listen for ways texts position an audience.

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: 70 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

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

Keywords: power, AFL, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, opinion, debate, documentary, The Final Quarter, Adam Goodes, policy, analysis.

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…

  • … the difference between hard and soft power.
  • … the impacts of the use of power.
  • … how power can be used effectively or ineffectively.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … analyse the intended impact of usages of power.
  • … identify the impacts of use of power.
  • … apply their knowledge of hard and soft power to analyse a written policy.
  • … form opinions, and respond to the opinions of others, about an organisation’s actions.

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

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.” ~ Roald Dahl

Hard And Soft Power


Hard power (coercive) Soft power (convincing)

Influencing people through coercion (forcing them or making them feel afraid to not comply)

E.g. military power, threats of violence

Attracting or persuading people to do something through positive motivation (e.g. rewards, encouragement, shared values)

E.g. a sense of belonging, celebrating a way of being

1. Why might the AFL want to use hard or soft power on its fans? What purposes might it have?

My thoughts New ideas from discussion with my partner

Generate examples of hard power and soft power that could be used by the AFL or a sporting organisation on their fans.

Hard power (coercive) Soft power (convincing)

Analysing Power

Actions that were taken by the AFL in the case of Adam Goodes:

  • A fan being asked to leave af
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