From shy country kid to two-time Brownlow medallist and Australian of the Year, Goodes is an inspiration to many. The footy field was where he thrived; the only place where the colour of his skin was irrelevant. Goodes’ world fell apart when he became the target of racial abuse during a game, which spiralled into public backlash against him. He spoke out about racism when Australia was not ready to hear the ugly truth, retiring quietly from AFL heartbroken.
Using the stunning athleticism of Goodes at the peak of his powers as well as the game itself as the film’s backdrop, THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM prompts questions about Australia’s relationship with racism and its ability to confront its own past. This compelling, provocative and cinematic film uses interviews from both sides of the debate to ask probing and fundamental questions about what it means to be Australian and what it takes for any individual to stand up for what they truly believe in. Featuring Goodes and all the key players from his story, including Grant, Michael O’Loughlin, Brett Goodes, Natalie Goodes, Tracey Holmes, Nova Peris, Nicky Winmar, Gilbert McAdam, Linda Burney, Paul Roos, John Longmire, Nathan Buckley, Eddie McGuire and Andrew Bolt, THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM is also a deeply personal and comprehensive exploration of Goodes’ own journey which saw him retreat from everyday life only to return determined to rise above the ugliness he had been forced to confront.
The Australian Dream is something people reach for and many people obtain, but there’s an emptiness at the heart of it because Australia has not resolved the questions of its history. If the Australian Dream is rooted in racism, what can be done to redefine it for the next generation? (Written by Stan Grant)
**The screening on 7th October will be followed by a Q&A with Matthew Stephen. Matthew Stephen has 30 years of experience working as an educator and historian in the Northern Territory. Since 2002 he has worked primarily as a historian with a focus on Northern Territory social history. He completed his PhD at Charles Darwin University in 2009. His thesis is entitled ‘Contact Zones: Sport and Race in The Northern Territory, 1869–1953’. A revised version was published by CDU press in 2010. Matthew continues to research sport and race relations in North Australia. His second book 'Colour Bar: Remembering and Forgetting Northern Territory Football 1916-1955' explores photography and oral histories related to the history of Northern Territory Australian football 1916-1956.**