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Evonne Goolagong
, 1973

by Ern McQuillan

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.5 cm x 30.0 cm)

Evonne Goolagong Cawley AC MBE (b. 1951), tennis champion, was born in the Riverina and grew up in Barellan, NSW, where she learned to hit a tennis ball against a wall with a piece of wood from a fruit crate. Supported by the town’s residents, when she was 13 she went to live with coach Vic Edwards and his family in Sydney. In 1971 she turned professional, and that year she became the second-youngest person to win Wimbledon when she defeated Margaret Court in the women’s singles. In 1972 she was named Australian of the Year. In 1974, 1975 and 1976 she won every mainland state title and the Australian singles title. After three more Wimbledon finals in the 1970s, in response to which English journalists gave her the title ‘Sunshine Supergirl’, in 1980 she returned to win again against Chris Evert, becoming the first mother to win a Wimbledon singles title since 1914. Goolagong-Cawley and her family lived in Florida until 1991, when they moved to Australia and she renewed her ties with her Wiradjuri people. Since then she has become involved in Aboriginal affairs, encouraging young Aboriginal sportspeople and promoting Indigenous education through the Evonne Goolagong Foundation. In 2003, Goolagong was awarded the International Olympic Committee's Women and Sports Trophy for the Oceania region.

This photograph of Evonne Goolagong is one of twenty by Ern McQuillan (b. 1926), most of them of Australian sporting identities, that have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery since 2003.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2004
Accession number: 2004.41