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Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Travels From Queensland

Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Australian tennis legend inspiring young athletes nationwide

Evonne Goolagong Cawley MBE AO has cemented herself as one of Australia’s most iconic and successful tennis players of all time. A proud Wiradjuri Aborigine, Evonne has been inspiring Australians nationwide with her incredible tennis skills and community work.

Personally scouted for her talent during her school years, Evonne would continue to develop her passion for tennis at a global scale. She represented Australia seven times in the Fed Cup and took home wins in 1971, 1973 and 1974. Evonne would also go on to lead Australia’s team as their Fed Cup Captain between 2002 and 2004.

Ranked the number one player in the world in 1971 and 1976, Evonne has won a total of 92 pro tournaments, made it as a finalist in 18 Grand Slam events, won Wimbledon twice, the Australian Open four times, the French Open once and was also a runner-up four years in a row at the US Open.

At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Evonne became one of the first ever international Olympic torch bearers and in 1993, was part of Sydney’s successful bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics at Monte Carlo. Heavily involved with the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Evonne also served on the National Indigenous Advisory Committee. In recognition of her service, Evonne received the International Olympic Committee’s Women & Sport Trophy in 2003. 

Prompted by her mother’s passing in 1991, Evonne left the USA for Australia to explore her own Indigenous heritage. Since then, she continues to dedicate her time to supporting her community through the Goolagong National Development Camp. Having run the program since 2005, Evonne has been able to inspire Indigenous youths to become pro players, coaches or administrators. Many have gone on to receive tennis scholarships, qualified to be Level 1 coaches, or have gone on to work in sports administration.

Evonne also conducted Tennis Come and Try Days across Australia in 2012, in order to further promote tennis programs for better health, education and employment. The program was a collaboration between the Evonne Goolagong Foundation, the Learn Earn Legend! initiative and Tennis Australia.

Evonne continues to be heavily involved with a range of government and non-profit organisations. She is a Co-Patron of Reconciliation Australia alongside Sir William Deane, and has also been involved with the Australian Sports Commission, The Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust, Tennis Australia’s Milo Evonne Goolagong Getting Started Program, as well as the Indigeous Land Corporation and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. 

In recognition of her incredible work, Evonne was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1982. She has also been named Australian of the Year, Australian Sportsman of the Year, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Aboriginal Sporting Hall of Fame. She has also been presented with the Margaret Pewtress Memorial Award by the ASC in 2003, as well as the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sport in 2011.

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