Netball legend makes leap to bronze

Published March 2023

Australian netball legend, Sharelle McMahon, has had her legacy and contribution to the sport immortalised in bronze, with a statue unveiled today outside Victoria’s home of netball – John Cain Arena.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos unveiled the statue, which was co-funded and created by Australian-based, internationally renowned sculptors Gillie and Marc – co-founders of Statues for Equality, a global movement to balance gender and racial representation in public statues.

“Recognising our female sporting heroes will help level the playing field and inspire the next generation of elite sporting talent,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos.

“Victorians, like the sports we play are diverse and it’s important that the athletes we choose to honour reflect that diversity.”

Originally born in Bamawm in regional Victoria, Ms McMahon remains an icon of the game with her illustrious netball career spanning 25 years as both a player and coach, amassing a long list of outstanding achievements.

She represented Melbourne Phoenix and later Melbourne Vixens as a player more than 200 times and at age 21, she made her debut for the Australian Diamonds.

McMahon went on to captain Australia 12 times in an international career that spanned 14 years and 118 matches, including two gold and two silver medals across four Commonwealth Games and two Netball World Cup victories, even scoring the winning goal at the 1999 World Cup.

She was the first athlete from a team sport selected as flagbearer for the 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and in 2016 was inducted as an athlete member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Ms McMahon continues to be a commanding presence in sport, working as Cricket Victoria’s Head of Female Cricket since December 2021.

A second statue is set to be unveiled later in the year as part of the Statues for Equality project honouring fellow netball icon, Anne Henderson at the redeveloped State Netball Centre in Parkville.