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 the complexities of celebrating Australia Day on January 26 and work to find solutions to make it a more inclusive celebration. To do this, students will identify Australian celebrations and the values associated with each. Students will have an opportunity to work in groups to analyse contemporary written and visual interpretations of the day to form their own opinions. Using their understanding, they will then ideate solutions to make Australia Day a celebration that includes all Australians.

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 will identify a range of Australian celebrations and values associated with each.
  • Students will understand why the current Australia Day is a contentious event.
  • Students will understand that multiple perspectives need to be considered to help build an informed opinion.
  • Students will investigate possible improvements and changes to Australia Day to make it a celebration that all Australians can feel a part of.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingEmpathyEthical UnderstandingSocial Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Civics & Citizenship:

  • How values, including freedom, respect, inclusion, civility, responsibility, compassion, equality and a ‘fair go’, can promote cohesion within Australian society (ACHCK052)
  • How groups, such as religious and cultural groups, express their particular identities; and how this influences their perceptions of others and vice versa (ACHCK053)
  • Critically analyse information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS056)
  • Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australia’s democracy (ACHCS060)

Syllabus outcomes: AS4.7, 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 7 achievement standards: Students explain the diverse nature of Australian society and identify the importance of shared values in promoting a cohesive society.

They consider different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take into account multiple perspectives to develop solutions to an issue. 

Topic: Social Issues, Indigenous Education, Learning Through Film

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work:The Final Quarter – Australian Values – Civ & Cit – Year 7

Time required: 60 mins.

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

Resources required:

  • Butcher’s paper (12 sheets)
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Devices with internet capability
  • Student Worksheets – one per student.

Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, identity, racism, Australian celebrations, Australia Day, change the date, values, respect, inclusion, inclusivity, tolerance, equality, perspective, emotions, empathy, ideate, 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: Students understand...

  • … there is a range of Australian celebrations and there are values associated with each.
  • … why Australia Day is a contentious event.
  • … that multiple perspectives need to be considered to help build an informed opinion.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … work in groups to list Australian celebrations and the values associated with each.
  • … explain why Australia Day is a contentious event.
  • … analyse a range of contemporary representations to understand multiple perspectives.
  • … work in groups to ideate possible solutions and/or changes to make Australia Day a more inclusive celebration.
  • … provide feedback to peers, including strengths and weaknesses of ideas.

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 play

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “It's gotta start small, as it has done, and then it will grow.” ~ Adam Briggs

1. Watch this clip from The Final Quarter:

Australian of the Year (

2. Your group will be allocated one of the following resources:

- or - to view worksheets

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