22 October 2023 | Tennis SA

A mural honouring Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Ash Barty was unveiled to the public at Playford Tennis Centre, Elizabeth East this morning, honouring the two former Indigenous tennis players.

The completion of the 6×4 metre mural comes as the City of Playford Tennis International gets underway at the venue from Sunday 22 to Sunday 29 October.

The mural showcases the region’s Indigenous culture, while also celebrating two outstanding Indigenous ambassadors of the sport. Goolagong Cawley and Barty are the only two Australian women to achieve the world No.1 singles ranking in the modern era.

For Goolagong Cawley, a 14-time Grand Slam champion and Wiradjuri woman, the mural comes ahead of celebrating 50 years since her first Australian Open win in 1974.

A Ngarigo woman, Barty is Tennis Australia’s First Nations tennis ambassador. She is a former world No.1 and three-time Grand Slam singles champion, including the 2022 Australian Open where she was presented with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup by long-time mentor Goolagong Cawley.

The Playford Tennis Centre hosts the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival – Playford annually and there are plans in place for the venue to become a northern hub for Indigenous tennis players in the future. The mural has been commissioned as a striking artwork to welcome people to the Playford Tennis Centre, and it is hoped that the mural will inspire more Indigenous youth to pick up a tennis racquet and get involved.

The mural has been painted by two local Indigenous artists. Thomas Readett, who worked on the portraits, is a Ngarrindjeri man, born on Kaurna Country. Shane Cook who is a Wulli Wulli and Koa man born on Kaurna Country, has painted the background.

Indigenous culture will be celebrated throughout the tournament with the singles trophies created by eight Indigenous students from Playford International College.

“City of Playford is delivering on its commitment to provide opportunities for residents to participate in sport, events and activities throughout our City, including Tennis SA’s National Indigenous Tennis Carnival – Playford which has been hosted at the Playford Tennis Centre and attended by around 300 Indigenous young people,” City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said.

“It is great to launch the mural as part of the much-anticipated City of Playford Tennis International that is now in its fifth year.

“The mural captures two iconic tennis champions including Evonne Goolagong Cawley who was a special guest at the Playford Tennis Centre in 2019 when she hosted the Evonne Goolagong Foundation event.

“The mural is a celebration of our City’s strong and proud Indigenous tennis culture and the role the Playford Tennis Centre is playing in supporting a connected, healthy and happy community – as well as future tennis champions playing in the City of Playford Tennis International.”