In Prospect Bay, a remote fishing town in South Australian, the only thing that connects the two communities - the Goonyas (whites) and the Nungas (blacks) - is football. The underlying racism and class warfare threatens to make the team's greatest victories irrelevant, though. Two members of the team, Gary Black (the son of a white fisherman) and Dumby Red (the team's star player), are an exception, however, having been best friends since childhood despite their different cultural and family backgrounds. The jubilation that occurs when the team wins the local premiership is short-lived when Dumby is inexplicably overlooked for the 'best on ground' award. This incident subsequently sets off a chain of events that ends in tragedy.
[Sources: Weekend Australian 22-23 December 2001 pp.14-15 and Australian Screen]
'This chapter critically examines the challenges of cross-cultural narrative adaptation at a time of significant socio-political transition. The tragic story of the shooting deaths of two Indigenous youths in a remote South Australian fishing town in the 1970s became inspiration for Phillip Gwynne's debut novel Deadly Unna? (1998). The novel was a fictionalised account of his own experiences growing up in the area and was well received, winning a prestigious Children's Book Council of Australia award in 1999. It was later adapted for the screen by Paul Goldman, under the title Australian Rules (2002).' (Source: Introduction, Samantha Fordham 2011)