At Mamamia, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the Australian men who are doing good things and trying to make our country a better place. So we came to you with a list of 100 great Aussie men and asked you to decide Mamamia’s 50 Best Blokes. This week, we’ll be counting down the top ten and announcing who you chose as Mamamia’s Best Bloke on Friday. We’re so pleased to present former Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, who came in at number seven.
In September last year, after 18 years and 372 games, Adam Goodes retired from AFL.
Aside from a phenomenal career on the football field, the dual Brownlow medallist and former Australian of the Year is consistently an outspoken advocate for his fellow Indigenous Australians and an anti-domestic violence campaigner.
His mother, Lisa. is an indigenous Australian and a member of the Stolen Generation.
"Mum didn't have the best upbringing," he told AFL Record. "The reason why was because her Mum wasn't looking after her own kids properly and that's what drove her to seek a better way of life and to make sure the government didn't then take her kids away."
Goodes' parents separated when he was four with his father moving to Queensland with Goodes, his two brothers and his mum, eventually settling in Western Victoria.
Goodes, now 36, says his mother "sacrificed everything so that we could be the best we could possibly be."
"Adam saw my struggles as an indigenous woman," Lisa told AFL Record. "And that I was petrified that anyone would ever take away my own children, and I think that helped shape how proud he became of his own heritage," she said
Throughout his long AFL career - over 17 seasons with the Sydney Swans - Goodes has consistently supported Indigenous sport and grassroots football programs.
He has also worked with young people off the field, supporting troubled teenagers in and out of youth detention centres and runs a foundation with his cousin and former teammate, Michael O'Loughlin, that assists young people to get jobs and an education and promotes healthy lifestyles.
Most incredibly, and even in the face of consistent, inexcusable racism, he does it all with pride and poise.
Adam Goodes was the 2014 Australian of the Year. Source: Getty
Describing himself as "a very proud Indigenous man from Adnyamathanha tribe", Goodes said when he was made Australian of the Year in 2014: "I'm not here to tell you what to think or how to act or raise your children. All I'm here to do is to tell you about my experiences and hope you choose to be aware of your actions and interactions so that together we can eliminate racism."