The Melbourne Storm playing group attended a private preview screening of The Australian Dream this week before it opens in cinemas on August 22.
Using Indigenous AFL legend Adam Goodes' journey as a prism to tell a powerful story about race, identity and belonging, The Australian Dream is a compelling documentary which prompts questions about Australia’s relationship with racism and its ability to confront its own past.
A two-time Brownlow medallist and Australian of the Year, Goodes became the target of racial abuse on the football field, which spiralled into cruel public backlash when he used his platform to speak out about racism.
The film premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival last week to widespread critical acclaim and it received similar praise from the playing group.
"I found it really emotional and pretty confronting to be honest."Josh Addo-Carr
Joe Stimson said he watched in stunned silence.
"For me it was eye opening and really powerful," he said.
"Some of it was hard to watch actually but I think it's important for every Australian to see it."
For Josh Addo-Carr, the examination of casual racism and discrimination hit close to home.
"I loved it - I found it really emotional," he said.
"It was pretty confronting to be honest but every Australian should watch it.
"Only three percent of the Australian population is Indigenous - there's not many of us - but we make up a quarter of all Australians in prison. Only one generation ago we were being denied an education.
"We still face discrimination today and raising awareness around that and having our voices heard is important."
Sandor Earl left the cinema feeling inspired to help drive change.
"Adam Goodes' unfortunate journey at the backend of his career was heartbreaking but should not overshadow the fact that he endured all of it to stand up for his beliefs," Earl said.
"If I wasn't passionate before, I am now about our country's past and the opportunity we have to make things right for the future."Sandor Earl
"We should be proud of the fact Australia has the oldest Indigenous people in the world.
"What happened in colonising this country is sad and a shameful part of Australia's history but there is a chance to reconcile and acknowledge what has happened and celebrate the Aboriginal culture.
"Hopefully this great documentary is the catalyst for that."
The Australian Dream will be released in cinemas nation-wide on August 22.