Netball legend Sharelle McMahon has had her legacy and contribution to netball immortalised in bronze, with a statue unveiled today outside Victoria’s home of netball – John Cain Arena.
With the support of the Andrews Labor Government’s $250,000 Celebrating Female Sporting Icons initiative, the statue celebrates her outstanding achievements on and off the court, helping to inspire the next generation of female leaders and athletes.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos today unveiled the statue, which was co-funded and created by Australian-based, internationally renowned sculptors Gillie and Marc – co-founders of Statues for Equality, a global movement to balance gender and racial representation in public statues.
Originally born in Bamawm in regional Victoria, McMahon remains an icon of the game with her illustrious netball career spanning 25 years as both a player and coach, amassing a long list of outstanding achievements.
She represented Melbourne Phoenix and later Melbourne Vixens as a player more than 200 times and at age 21, she made her debut for the Australian Diamonds.
McMahon went on to captain Australia 12 times in an international career that spanned 14 years and 118 matches, including two gold and two silver medals across four Commonwealth Games and two Netball World Cup victories, even scoring the winning goal at the 1999 World Cup.
She was the first athlete from a team sport selected as flagbearer for the 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and in 2016 was inducted as an athlete member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
McMahon continues to be a commanding presence in sport, working as Cricket Victoria’s Head of Female Cricket since December 2021.
The Labor Government partnered with the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust and Netball Victoria to deliver the statue. It is the latest project to ensure greater representation and recognition of women and girls in sport.
A second statue is set to be unveiled later in the year as part of the Statues for Equality project honouring fellow netball icon, Anne Henderson at the redeveloped State Netball Centre in Parkville.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos
“Recognising our female sporting heroes will help level the playing field and inspire the next generation of elite sporting talent.”
“Victorians, like the sports we play are diverse and it’s important that the athletes we choose to honour reflect that diversity.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins
“It’s a fitting recognition on International Women’s Day for Sharelle McMahon whose incredible achievements, both on and off the netball court, have left an indelible mark on Victoria’s sporting history and been an inspiration for women and girls everywhere.”
Reviewed 07 March 2023