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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Evonne Goolagong

1973
Ern McQuillan OAM

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/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 over twenty by Ern McQuillan OAM (1926-2018), most of them of Australian sporting identities, that have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery since 2003.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2004
© Michael McQuillan's Classic Photographs

Artist and subject

Ern McQuillan OAM (age 47 in 1973)

Evonne Goolagong (Cawley) AC MBE (age 22 in 1973)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Supported by

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (38 portraits supported)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Hop, skip, shoot

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

Former NPG Deputy Director, Simon Elliott talks with Ern McQuillan about his life and career as a sports photographer.

Australian of the Year

Inspiring a Nation

Previous exhibition, 2010

The Australian of the Year Awards have often provoked controversy about who is selected and whether their achievements are remarkable.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency