Home grown international netball superstar Sharelle McMahon is set to be immortalised in bronze to honour her outstanding achievements in netball at a State, National and International level.
Made possible by the Andrews Labor Government’s Celebrating Female Sporting Icons initiative, the statue will recognise her significant contribution to the netball community, immortalising her in sporting history, and inspiring the next generation of female athletes and leaders.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today announced the statue will be erected outside John Cain Arena at Melbourne Park. The statue will be co-funded and created by renowned sculpture artists Gillie and Marc – co-founders of Statues for Equality, a global movement to balance gender and racial representation in public statues.
McMahon has been involved in netball as both a player and coach for the last 25 years, and represented Melbourne Phoenix and later Melbourne Vixens as a player more than 200 times.
At age 21, she made her debut as the youngest member of the Australian Diamonds, and was part of the team which won the gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
McMahon captained Australia 12 times in an international career which spanned 14 years and 118 Test matches and included two gold and two silver medals across four Commonwealth Games and two Netball World Cup victories.
The Labor Government will work closely with the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust and Netball Victoria to deliver the statue and is committed to ensuring greater representation and recognition of women and girls in sport and recreation.
The recent budget committed $11.6 million to continue programs which drive participation and inclusion for women and girls.
This includes boosting Change Our Game activities to achieve greater visibility of women and girls, as well as continued support for scholarships, community action and broadcasting programs.
The Government also invested $64.6 million in the recently completed Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville, which features some of the best hockey and netball facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. The venue is set to host more than 500,000 players and spectators each year, with 80 per cent of all participants being women and girls.
The Women in Sport Leadership Centre will also be based at the Centre and is set to deliver programs which drive cultural change and grow female leadership in sport, through the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation.
As stated by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“Victoria is Australia’s premier sporting state and we’re proud to honour sporting heroes like Sharelle McMahon to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.”
“Sharelle is a sporting legend who has given so much to Victoria and the game of netball.”
As stated by Member for Northern Metropolitan Sheena Watt
“Sharelle McMahon is a netball great, and a statue is a fitting way to recognise her enormous contribution to the sport.”
“This statue is an important step towards celebrating more female sporting icons.”
As stated by Netball Victoria CEO, Rosie King
“While we can’t rewrite history, we can ensure that the story of Australia’s sporting landscape more accurately reflects the impact that women have. Sharelle McMahon is an icon of our great game of netball.”
“That moment in time in 1999 of elevating netball into a very visible sporting space was I think really a pivotal moment for our sport. Sharelle set the netball world on fire and became a living legend, and I’m thrilled that she’s still got a lot of years of influence ahead of her.”