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 investigate Australia’s perceived ‘national identity’ and work out who we are as a nation and who we want to be in the future. They will identify the diverse cultures and experiences represented across Australia and explore how this diversity impacts upon their understanding of a shared national identity. Students will then watch a clip from The Final Quarter documentary and analyse the message of Stan Grant’s powerful reflection, which includes the questions, ‘Who are we? What sort of country do we want to be?’ Students will be given an opportunity to create their own representation of Australia’s national identity that reflects how they want it to be represented publicly in the future.

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 explore what ‘national identity’ is in an Australian context.
  • Students understand why unity in diversity is important to reconciliation across the nation.
  • Students examine examples of negative race relations, inequality and inequity in Australian society, and how these impact on identity.
  • Students imagine a future where all Australians feel like they belong.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingEmpathySocial SkillsTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 8 Civics & Citizenship:

  • Different perspectives about Australia’s national identity, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, and what it means to be Australian (ACHCK066)
  • How national identity can shape a sense of belonging in Australia’s multicultural society (ACHCK067)
  • Critically analyse information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS070)
  • Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australia’s democracy (ACHCS074)

Syllabus outcomes: AS4.8, AS4.9

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

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

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards: 

Students analyse issues about national identity and the factors that contribute to people’s sense of belonging. They explain different points of view on civics and citizenship issues.

Topic: Social Issues, Indigenous Education, Learning Through Film

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Being Australian – Civ & Cit – Year 8

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and promote collaborative group work.

Resources required:

Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, identity, national identity, diversity, belonging, recognition, perspective, emotions, empathy, AFL, Adam Goodes, documentary, The Final Quarter.

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: Student understand...

  • … what ‘national identity’ is in an Australian context.
  • … why unity in diversity is important to reconciliation across the nation.
  • … the impact of negative race relations, inequality and inequity on Australian society.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify examples of negative race relations, inequality and inequity in Australian society, and explain how these impact on identity.
  • … imagine a future where all Australians feel like they belong.
  • … present a representation of their understanding of Australia’s national identity and of a reconciled future for Australia.

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

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "We heard the howl of the Australian dream and it said to us again, you’re not welcome." ~ Stan Grant

What Is Australia's National Identity?

1. Answer the following questions in the first column, completing the other columns as your share with a partner and with the class.

  • What do you see as Australia’s national identity?
  • What characteristics and behaviours do you think or feel reflect what it means to be Australian?


What do you THINK? What new ideas did you discuss in your PAIR? What different ideas were SHARED with the class?

Representing All People

2. Watch this clip from The Final Quarter and complete the Y-chart below with what you see, feel and hear.

Sam Newman - Stan Grant - Adam's Retirement (

3. Read through this statement and consider what you think his message is.

Transcript of Stan Grant (1:21 - 2:13):

“In the winter of 2015, Australia turned to face itsel

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