The Final Quarter documentary to be televised
The Indigenous Player Alliance (IPA), set up to help AFL footballers both during and after their careers, is to receive vital seed funding thanks to the television broadcast of The Final Quarter film about Adam Goodes.
The Final Quarter, which examines the final three years of the brilliant AFL career of Goodes, the dual Brownlow Medallist and 2014 Australian of the Year, will screen across Australia on Channel 10 and WIN this Thursday July 18 at 7.30pm.
The film’s director, Ian Darling, has announced that proceeds from the broadcast will be donated to the IPA, and to the GO Foundation which was set up by Goodes and his former Sydney Swans team-mate Michael O’Loughlin to provide educational resources for Indigenous students.
Des Headland, the chair of the recently-formed IPA which aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players both during and after their football careers, said it was an honour to receive funding from the film about Goodes.
“This funding will literally kick start the IPA,’’ said Headland, who played for the Brisbane Lions and the Fremantle Dockers during his 166-game AFL career.
“A report last year showed that some Indigenous players struggle particularly after they finish playing, and we want the IPA to be their voice and to hold the AFL industry accountable.’’
Headland has watched The Final Quarter twice and urges all Australians to tune in to the film when it is screened free-to-air on Channel 10 this week.
“It’s not a comfortable film to watch, and no doubt it will hit home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who face racism in their everyday life,’’ Headland said.
“It makes you think about what we could all have done better to support Adam, but it also shows his incredible courage, his stand against racism and the way he stood strong for our people.
“I recommend every Australian sees it. I know there is a huge amount of support for Adam from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The film is a conversation starter and that’s what we need.’’
The film outlines the final three years of Goodes’ playing career, from 2013 to 2015. After he called out racism and performed an on-field war dance, he became a lightning rod for a heated public debate and widespread media commentary that divided the nation.
The cheers for Goodes, a champion person and footballer, became boos as ugly football crowds turned on him. The film uses archival footage to hold a mirror to Australia and asks us all to reconsider what happened on and off the football field.
Goodes didn’t play a part in making the film but has seen it and given it his support. “As confronting as I have found the film, I look forward to the conversation it will help generate,’’ Goodes said.
Director Ian Darling and his team at Shark Island Productions have already shown the film to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations as part of their duty of care around the film.
Darling believes positive change will come from The Final Quarter, which later this year will be freely donated to every school and sporting club in Australia.
“Part of the problem was that we didn’t listen to Adam. The film gives us an opportunity to go back and just see how much he was misquoted,’’ Darling said.
“The film highlights that the booing was racist. What we need to be talking about now is how to ensure this never happens again.’’
Already there have been a number of positive responses to The Final Quarter, which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in June. The AFL issued an unreserved apology to Goodes, and the AFL Players Association’s Indigenous Advisory Board urged every Australian to watch it.
The Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan said the film brings home the very real impacts of racism.
“I thought I knew the story about Adam Goodes, about his suffering, his pain and humiliation, but in watching the documentary, The Final Quarter, I felt it,’’ Chin Tan said.
“This film offers Australia an opportunity to have the tough, but much needed conversation about racism.’’