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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Evonne Goolagong

1970s
an unknown artist

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 25.4 cm x 20.6 cm, image: 24.7 cm x 19.4 cm)

Evonne Goolagong Cawley AC MBE (b. 1951), Wiradjuri tennis champion, was the number one women's tennis player in the world in 1971 and 1976. Born in the Riverina district, she grew up in Barellan where she learned to hit a tennis ball against a wall with a piece of wood from a fruit crate. Her mother, Linda, made her first tennis dress from an old bed sheet. When she was thirteen she left her family to live with tennis coach Vic Edwards and his family in Sydney. In 1971, the year she turned professional, she became the second-youngest person to win Wimbledon when she defeated Margaret Court in the women’s singles at the age of nineteen. Named Australian of the Year in 1972, in 1974, 1975 and 1976 she won every Australian 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 defeated Chris Evert and became the first mother to win a Wimbledon singles championship since 1914. Goolagong Cawley and her family lived in Florida until 1991, when they moved to Noosa and she renewed her ties with her Wiradjuri people. Since then she has become increasingly involved in Aboriginal affairs, encouraging young Aboriginal sportspeople and promoting Indigenous education through the Evonne Goolagong Foundation and the Goolagong National Development Camps. In 2018 she was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia. Yorta Yorta/Gunaikurnai playwright Andrea James staged a play about Goolagong Cawley’s life, Sunshine Super Girl, in 2020 and 2021.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Evonne Goolagong (Cawley) AC MBE (age 19 in 1970)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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Related information

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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.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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