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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 June 2018) . . Page.. 2029 ..


Federation Cup, winning three times, and was Australia’s Fed Cup captain from 2002 to 2004. Evonne is an Australian icon.

I was surprised when Evonne hardly mentioned any of this in her speech to the kids at Melba Tennis Club. Instead, she told them the story of how it all started, with a princess storybook in which she read about the magical place called Wimbledon. At first she did not even know this place was a real place, but once she did she applied her determination and started to practice.

At Melba, she brought out her little wooden bat that she had used hour after hour, day after day, to hit a ball against a wall. She explains that it was hard work and determination that was the secret to her success. It took a real community effort to get her from the skinny kid hitting a ball against a wall to playing in tournaments around the world.

Evonne told the kids about her two dreams: first, to play and win at Wimbledon, just like in her princess storybook; and second, to start a foundation that would help others to dream big and realise their potential. She has achieved both. Since 2005 Evonne has run the Goolagong National Development Camp for Indigenous girls and boys, using tennis as a vehicle to promote better health, education and employment.

Since 2012 the Evonne Goolagong Foundation has encouraged kids to dream, believe, learn and achieve. It holds come and try tennis days across the nation, which feed into state development camps and an annual national development camp, which in turn offers scholarships and sporting opportunities.

Over 5,000 kids have participated in the program, which creates outstanding health benefits and provides kids with positive role models, access to a broad range of networks, and a wide range of opportunities. Evonne has assisted over 60 young people to complete a university education and countless more in finding vocational pathways and meaningful employment.

This program is a win-win: the kids win; the Indigenous community wins; and we all win because this initiative promotes health, fitness and education. It was so heartening to see the kids out there on the courts of Melba Tennis Club and to hear the stories of their coaches and past participants from this amazing foundation.

I commend the work of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation. I also send thanks to the other organisations involved: Winnunga, Melba Tennis Club, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Well done to all involved. We need to see more of these types of initiatives: straightforward, common-sense solutions that are providing outstanding outcomes for the Indigenous community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 3.45 pm.


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