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 be introduced to the The Final Quarter through the trailer and Director’s Statement. Using the information from both, students will identify the film’s themes and intended messages. Students will then view the documentary in full and be given an opportunity to reflect on what they think and feel about the film and the impact that it had on them. They will then use the identified themes of the film to make connections to wider Australian media and society. Students will be given an opportunity to reflect on what individuals, groups and communities can do to promote positive social change.

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 you use this lesson to guide your students through the process of viewing the film in its entirety. Our Watching the Film lessons are designed to support you in facilitating this process, from introducing the film through to a full post-viewing debrief. 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 are familiar with the context and continued significance of The Final Quarter film, as well as with the context of race relations and reconciliation in Australia
  • Students understand the key themes and purpose of the film
  • Students are aware of other people’s reactions to the film
  • Students know how to respond constructively to the themes in the film and be sensitive towards the emotional responses of themselves and others
  • Students understand that they may have strong reactions to the film and know where to go to find support

21st century skills

Communicating Critical Thinking Cultural Understanding Empathy Ethical Understanding Social Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:


Unit 1:

  • the degree to which individual points of view, experiences and contexts shape responses to texts (ACELR001)
  • how mode, medium and form shape responses to texts (ACELR002)
  • the differences between initial personal responses and more studied and complex responses (ACELR003)
  • how responses of readers and viewers can range from empathetic to critical. (ACELR004)
  • different points of view represented in texts, for example, those of characters, narrators and the implied author (ACELR006)

Unit 2:

  • the ways in which texts are influenced by other texts and by contexts (ACELR019)
  • the relationship between conventions of genre, audience, expectations, and interpretations of texts (ACELR020)
  • the ways in which informed reading influences interpretation of texts. (ACELR022)
  • the ways in which text structures, language features and stylistic choices provide a framework for audiences’ expectations, responses and interpretations (ACELR023)

Unit 3:

  • how readers are influenced to respond to their own and others’ cultural experiences (ACELR037)
  • the power of language to represent ideas, events and people in particular ways (ACELR038)
  • how cultural perceptions are challenged or supported (ACELR039)
  • the ways in which authors represent Australian culture, place and identity both to Australians and the wider world. (ACELR040)
  • the relationship between significant historical and cultural events and figures, and their representations in literary texts (ACELR041)

Unit 4:

  • how literature reflects cultural change and difference (ACELR053)
  • the ways in which the expectations and values of audiences shape perceptions of texts and their significance (ACELR054)
  • how ideas, values and assumptions are conveyed (ACELR058)


Unit 1:

  • explaining how texts are created in and for different contexts (ACEEN001)
  • evaluating the choice of mode and medium in shaping the response of audiences, including digital texts (ACEEN003)
  • explaining the ways language features, text structures and conventions communicate ideas and points of view (ACEEN004)
  • purpose, taking into account that a text’s purpose is often open to debate (ACEEN008)
  • personal, social and cultural context (ACEEN009)

Unit 2:

  • explaining the relationship between purpose and context (ACEEN021)
  • the impact of language and structural choices on shaping own and others’ perspectives (ACEEN028)
  • the ways ideas, attitudes and voices are represented, for example, how events are reported differently in the media (ACEEN029)
  • analysing changing responses to texts over time and in different cultural contexts. (ACEEN031)

Unit 3:

  • explaining how each text conforms to or challenges the conventions of particular genres or modes such as crime fiction, advertising or short films (ACEEN042)
  • analysing and evaluating how similar themes, ideas or concepts are treated in different texts. (ACEEN043)
  • how responses to texts and genres may change over time and in different cultural contexts. (ACEEN049)

Unit 4:

  • examining how each text relates to a particular context or contexts (ACEEN061)
  • exploring other interpretations and aspects of context to develop a considered response. (ACEEN065)
  • the ways points of view and values are represented (ACEEN067)

Essential English

Unit 1:

  • predicting meaning using text structures and language features (ACEEE002)
  • making personal connections with texts (ACEEE003)
  • questioning texts to draw conclusions. (ACEEE004)
  • how social, community and workplace texts are constructed for particular purposes, audiences and contexts (ACEEE005)

Unit 2:

  • making inferences from content, text structures and language features (ACEEE016)
  • summarising ideas and information presented in texts (ACEEE017)
  • identifying similarities and differences between own response to texts and responses of others. (ACEEE018)
  • the ways in which main ideas, values and supporting details are represented in social, community and workplace texts (ACEEE019)

Unit 3:

  • distinguishing different points of view about the main ideas in texts (ACEEE029)
  • understanding the way attitudes and values are represented (ACEEE031)
  • the relationships between context, purpose, and audience, and the impact on meaning in social, community and workplace texts (ACEEE033)
  • categorising and integrating ideas and information about specific themes or ideas (ACEEE037)

Unit 4:

  • analysing issues and ideas represented in a range of texts and explaining points of view and implications (ACEEE043)
  • explaining how texts use language to appeal to the beliefs, attitudes and values of an audience (ACEEE045)
  • reflecting on the way ideas and information are presented in texts. (ACEEE046)
  • the representation of community, local or global issues in social, community, workplace or literary texts (ACEEE047)
  • how some points of view are privileged while others are marginalised or silenced; for example, the unreliable narrator in fiction and film, the antagonists in drama and video games or the presentation of only one point of view in a news story. (ACEEE049)

General capabilitiesLiteracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding 

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.5, OI.6, OI.9)

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work The Final Quarter – Watching The Film.

Time required: 150 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and support student understanding of key concepts and themes.

Resources required:

Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, reconciliation, racism, identity, belonging, standing up, speaking up, respect, equality, Indigenous voice, race relations, emotions, 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

It is strongly recommended that teachers watch The Final Quarter documentary in full before showing it to students. There are many themes, concepts and events that teachers need to be aware of and comfortable to discuss with students to ensure students are supported. 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. For further information and resources to support your understanding of these themes and concepts, please refer to the Teacher Content Information below and supporting factsheets.

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • … be familiar with the context and continued significance of The Final Quarter film, as well as with the context of race relations and reconciliation in Australia
  • ... understand the key themes and purpose of the film
  • … be aware of other people’s reactions to t
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “As a filmmaker, I’m drawn to strong characters and what their individual stories can tell us about who we are as Australians.” ~ Ian Darling, Director of 'The Final Quarter'

Exploring The Themes Of The Final Quarter

Answer the following questions to reflect on The Final Quarter in the space provided.

What do you think/feel after watching the film, and why?

What stood out to you, and why?

What surprised you, and why?

How did the film differ from what you were expecting, and how/why?






What key themes/messages did you notice in the film, and where?

Examples of Themes

Use your understanding of the themes of the film to fill in the first two columns of the table below.

Once you have identified the themes and examples from the film, think of examples of the themes in wider Australian media and society and complete the final column of the table below.

Theme/Description Example in Film Example in wider Australian media/society
- or - to view worksheets

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