25 September 2019

With reconciliation at the forefront of our organisation, Life Without Barriers staff from across Adelaide attended a private screening of ‘The Australian Dream’, which centres around the mistreatment of Aboriginal Australian footballer and 2014 Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes.

Image: The confronting biopic of Adam Goodes, 'The Australian Dream'.

As part of Life Without Barriers’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), staff from across Adelaide were invited to a private screening of new film, The Australian Dream, which centres around the mistreatment of Aboriginal Australian footballer, Adam Goodes.

As an initiative of team leader, Kay Goodman-Dodd, the event follows on from a private staff screening of Rabbit Proof Fence last month, which also addresses Australia’s history of colonisation and the ongoing battle against racism in our modern society – cornerstones of reconciliation.

Image: Life Without Barriers staff and social work placement students from across Adelaide.

Directed by Daniel Gordon, The Australian Dream serves as a biopic of 2014 Australian of Year, Adam Goodes, and how he experienced profoundly hurtful racist behaviour during the height of his AFL career, from booing crowds to insensitive media stars.

Image: Aboriginal footballer and 2014 Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes.

Attesting to this was Kaurna/Narungga/Ngarrindjeri Elder, Garth Dodd, who gave an opening speech at the event, sharing his own experiences of explicit racism and how it has impacted his life.

Image: Attendees of the film screening, Kay Goodman-Dodd, Malcolm Gollan, Kathryn Franz and Elder Garth Dodd, who gave an opening speech at the event.

The film also conveyed a clear message about the subtler and less understood forms of racism, which if left unchallenged, can develop into doubt, suspicion and unjustified fear among the masses. The Australian Dream invited all viewers to look inward, confront their own biases and, ultimately, raise awareness that widespread ignorance and racism amongst the Australian population remains a significant barrier to reconciliation efforts.

Despite the sombre tone of the film, staff who attended spoke highly of the screening, albeit shocking and saddening for some.

Among the attendees was Brigitte Ryan, a Supporter of Carers from Walyu Tutu, Life Without Barriers’ Unley office, who described the film as “very emotional”. Also from Walyu Tutu was Project Officer Bahar Forghani, who said “my take away from the movie is to talk about the issue of racism with my circle of friends, to connect more with Aboriginal Australian people, hear their stories and learn about their culture. Every little action can make a difference.”

Overall, the film event instilled a renewed commitment to Life Without Barriers’ RAP and determination to achieve genuine change together. The Australian Dream is showing in cinemas now.

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