The Australian Dream


From shy country kid to two-time Brownlow medallist and Australian of the Year, AFL legend Adam Goodes is an inspiration to many. The footy field was where he thrived; the only place where the colour of his skin was irrelevant.

But 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 Stan 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?

My hope for this film is that it becomes part of a new storytelling in Australia. You don't do that by passing law, you need a story.

— Stan Grant
Michael O'Loughlin and Adam Goodes stand next to each other wearing t-shirts with an image of the Aboriginal flag.
Michael O'Loughlin (left) and Adam Goodes. Photo: Madmax (used with permission)



Adam Goodes - himself
Release dates
1 August 2019 – World Premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival
22 August 2019 – Australia
23 February 2020 – TV premiere Australia (ABC and ABC iview)

Written by Tony Ayres and Stan Grant.

The Australian Dream official poster was designed by Aboriginal agency Balarinji and features artwork representing 'Digging for yams' by Goodes’ mother, Lisa Sansbury.

Adam has no commercial interest in this film.

Another film, The Final Quarter, documents Adam's story from a media perspective.

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[1] 'Adam Goodes reveals the moment he decided to end his AFL career', SMH 16/8/2019

Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, The Australian Dream, <>, retrieved 14 June 2024

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