Before his retirement, Adam Goodes was an Australian Rules football player who was one of the game’s leading scorers. He began playing AFL while in school, and at age 16 he joined the under-18 club North Ballarat Rebels. Two years later he was drafted by the Sydney Swans of the Australian Football League and remained with that club for the rest of his career.

Mr Goodes established himself as a solid utility player and one of Sydney’s best scorers. In 2003 he was named to the first of four All-Australian teams (the others were in 2006, 2009, and 2011) and was joint recipient of the Brownlow Medal for the home-and-away season’s best and fairest player. In 2004 he was named to the sport’s Indigenous Team of the Century. The following season he was the sole winner of the Brownlow Medal, becoming the 12th player to take the award more than once. Goodes set a team-appearance record in April 2012 with his 304th game. He suffered an injured quad that season but still scored a goal in the Grand Final as Sydney defeated Hawthorn.

In January 2014 Mr Goodes was named Australian of the Year for his work with indigenous-youth community programs, notably the Goodes O’Loughlin (GO) Foundation, which he founded in 2009 with his cousin and former Sydney teammate Michael O’Loughlin. In 2016 the University of South Australia and the Indigenous Defence Consortium, led by Mr Goodes, formalised a new collaboration designed to advance and support business and education opportunities in the defence industries for new generations of Aboriginal leaders.