The power of TV

ABC logo

Activity: View this episode of the ABC TV series Redfern Now to explore how family and community values may conflict

Episode 4 tells the story of 16-year-old Joel Shields (Aaron McGrath), who has just won an Indigenous scholarship to Clifton College — one of Sydney’s most elite private schools.

‘Stand Up’, Series 1, episode 4 is no longer available online; contact your library for access.


It’s his first day and at assembly Joel’s teacher notices he’s not singing the national anthem. At home that night Joel is busy learning the words so he can join in. His father Eddie is troubled by this — he doesn’t want his son to sing the anthem… or stand for it. ‘At the end of the day we’re all Australians’, says Mrs McCann, Principal.

Consider these questions:

  • What does it mean to be Australian?
  • What does this episode tell us about belonging to culture and to institutions, as Joel struggles with belonging, both as a student in the school and as a member of the community?
  • How much is belonging dictated by your own personal values?
  • How much does belonging mean abdicating your own values to the group’s values? Can you belong to different groups with different (and maybe conflicting) values?