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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.

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Erin Phillips OAM

2022
Alex Frayne

inkjet print on paper, edition 1/1 (image: 75.0 cm x 50.0 cm)
Image not available

Erin Phillips OAM (b. 1985), elite athlete, played professional basketball for fifteen years before becoming the stand-out player of the AFLW's first five seasons. Born in Melbourne, she grew up in Adelaide after her father was signed to play for Port Adelaide in the SANFL. She started playing football with the Westlakes under-9s (she was the only girl on the team), and as a teenager trained occasionally with Port Adelaide. At the same time – there being next to no opportunities for women wanting to play football professionally – she took up basketball, representing South Australia in the under-16 and under-18 national championships. Phillips made her professional debut in 2002 when she joined the Adelaide Lightning. In her six seasons with the team she was selected for the WNBL all-stars three times and contributed to the Lightning's 2007-08 championship victory. Concurrently, she began playing in the USA having been drafted by the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. In 2011 she joined the Indiana Fever, which won the WNBA title for 2012; Phillips became a WNBA championship player for the second time in 2014 with the Phoenix Mercury. She left the WNBA in 2017 after one season each with the LA Sparks and Dallas Wings, and having played in the professional leagues in Israel, Poland and Slovakia. Phillips first represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, when the Opals won the women's basketball gold medal. She was part of the Opals squad that won silver at the Beijing Olympics, gold at the 2006 World Championships in Brazil, and bronze at the 2014 World Championships in Turkey.

Despite not having played a game of football for more than a decade, in 2017 Phillips was signed by the Adelaide Crows, one of eight teams contesting the inaugural AFL Women's season. She finished the season with a premiership medal and was named the AFLW's best and fairest player, also winning the AFLW Players' Association Most Valuable Player award and the title of the Crows' Club Champion. Phillips was named best and fairest again in 2019, when the Crows won their second premiership; and she became a premiership player for a third time when the Crows defeated Melbourne in the 2022 Grand Final. Shortly afterwards, Phillips announced that she had been signed by Port Adelaide – the club she has always dreamt of playing for.

Gift of the artist 2022
© Alex Frayne

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

Alex Frayne (age 47 in 2022)

Erin Phillips OAM (age 37 in 2022)

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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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