Motion in support of Adam Goodes

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Madam Speaker.

I stand in support of Adam Goodes.

 

In an AFL career spanning almost twenty years Adam Goodes has combined agility and ability with astounding resilience and versatility. Goodes’ natural gifts and determination have propelled him to two Brownlow Medals, four all Australian sides and two AFL Premierships.

In a contribution to a history of the AFL, Goodes wrote that; ‘Aborigines play Australian Football with a clear mind and total focus, we are born to play it’. Adam’s on-field success is a testament to this athletic birthright.

But Adam Goodes is more than a talented athlete.

Let me remind the public that beyond the boundary line Adam is an outstanding ambassador for this nation and his people.

Adam is a proud Adnyamathanha and Narungga man from South Australia. Adam is a wonderful role model for the thousands of Indigenous community leaders who quietly and consistently build community across our country. 

But Adam’s appeal transcends racial boundaries. Adam Goodes is a role model not only to Indigenous Australians but to all of us.

Let me remind the house that last year Adam was named Australian of the year for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against racism on the sporting field and within society. We must all dedicate ourselves to fighting racism wherever we find it—on our sporting fields, in our workplaces, in our communities.

It is shameful that a year later Adam has had to withdraw from the field because of the actions of a vocal minority.

For some, sport and politics do not mix. For some athletes should leave their personal beliefs and principles at the boundary line. But in a nation such as ours, a nation where sport permeates our culture, a nation where sport demands national attention and affection, at times sport becomes a broader symbol of social change.

This is such a time, a time where sport has become a symbol of society’s struggle against racism.

Madam Speaker.

Out on the oval, amidst the ruck Adam Goodes often stands strong, tall and resolute to compete for the ball.

Today, the party I lead, the parliament I stand in, must stand strong, tall and resolute against racism and bigotry.

Madam Speaker.

We stand with Adam Goodes.