Location: State Netball Hockey Centre, Royal Park, Parkville VIC 3052
Artist: Gillie and Marc
A bronze statue of Australian netball icon Anne Henderson has been unveiled at the State Netball Hockey Centre in a fitting tribute.
It’s difficult to describe the history of Victorian netball without mentioning Anne Henderson. One of the game’s pioneers, a statue of Anne now stands next to the entrance of the State Netball Hockey Centre in Royal Park – a venue of particular significance to Anne. It’s a fitting tribute to her lifetime commitment to the sport both on and off the court.
Born in 1904 in Benalla, Anne’s love of netball started while she was at primary school and continued while working as a teacher in regional Victoria.
Anne’s nephew John Henderson said her dedication to the teaching and development of children combined with her love of netball created a safe and welcoming space for young women to play sport.
‘Although Anne never had children, she had no shortage of children in her life through her role as a primary school teacher and her enduring interest and commitment to netball as a player, administrator and mentor, particularly in Melbourne,’ said John.
Anne had a knack for identifying and nurturing talent. She helped develop up and coming players, advocated for girls and women and governed the sport. She often provided the tram fare from her own pocket for many girls so they could travel and play at Royal Park.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution, she was inducted as a Netball Victoria Life Member in 1939, a Victorian Netball State Council region was named in her honour in 1990 and she was posthumously elevated to the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Anne’s statue has been created by renowned Australian-based sculpture artists Gillie and Marc, co-founders of Statues for Equality, a global movement to balance gender and racial representation in public statues. The statue is co-funded by the Victorian Government's Celebrating Female Sporting Icons initiative.
This is the second statue created as part of this important initiative.
These statues are a standing reminder for greater representation and recognition of women and girls in sport and recreation.