There are three values that run deep in Adam Goodes' veins.
Education, sacrifice and discipline.
"I wouldn't have been able to do my career for as long as I have if I didn't have that self-discipline and the ability to make sacrifices to get the best out of myself," the Sydney Swans AFL player says.
The dual Brownlow medallist has exemplified these values on and off the field with the establishment of the Goodes-O'Loughlin (GO) Foundation, which he started with cousin Michael O'Loughlin.
It is the 34-year-old's commitment to community and advocacy against racism that saw him named Australian of the Year on Saturday.
This year the Go Foundation is offering scholarships to indigenous students so they can have the same opportunities Goodes had.
"Michael and I are very committed to 'education is the answer'," he told AAP this week.
Goodes says his mother made sacrifices to give him and his two brothers opportunities, like education, and to make sure they didn't have the upbringing she had.
Goodes' mother was part of the stolen generation, the dark mark on Australia's history that saw her taken from her mother at the age of five.
Goodes went on to make his own sacrifices, when after starting AFL at 14, he set out to be the best player he could be.
But last year the focus shifted momentarily from his outstanding playing ability to a racial slur on the field.
In a Swans-winning match against Collingwood last May, a teenage girl called Goodes an "ape" from the grandstand.
Goodes said he turned the incident into an educational tool to teach indigenous Australians and minority groups to say no to racism.
On Saturday, after he was announced as Australian of the Year, Goodes made it clear he'd have racism in his sights over the coming year.
"My hope is that we as a nation can break down the silos between races, break down those stereotypes of minority populations," he said.
"The ultimate reward is when all Australians see each other as equals, and treat each other as equals."
Goodes' mother Lisa was in the crowd for the announcement.