Court of Champions

The Netball WA Court of Champions was established by the Netball WA Board in 2020 to recognise and celebrate WA developed players who have reached the ultimate in the sport by representing Australia at the highest International level of competition available at the time, and who have made a significant contribution to the sport in Western Australia. 

Inaugural Inductees

Left shows young Jill, and right shows Katie accepting the award on behalf of Jill
(Right side image depicts Jill's niece Katie Fairhall accepting the award on her behalf due to Jill being in Covid lock-down in Canberra)

Jill was a skilful, smart and determined centre court player, making her playing debut for Australia in a 1981 and was adjudged the Australian Netballer of the Year.  

She was Captain of Australia in 1982 and 1983, playing mostly in the Centre to help Australia win the 6th World Championship in Singapore.  

After retiring as a player her unmatched success as National Coach and ongoing coaching work saw her earn countless accolades including two Netball World Championships and two Commonwealth Games Gold Medals. 

Her journey with Netball and her contribution to the game is reflected by the GIG WANL Medal being named in her honour.  

She was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2020, Netball Australia Hall of Fame in 2009, awarded Netball WA Life Membership in 1986 and is now a member of Netball WA’s Court of Champions. 

Left shows young Dot, and right shows Dot accepting the award
Dot was selected in the All Australian Carnival Team in her first year playing for WA in 1956, which led to selection in the Australian Team to play New Zealand in three tests in 1960. She was also selected in the 1963 Australian team for the 1st World Tournament but withdrew from the team. 

After a short lay-off period she returned to interstate competition and as Vice-Captain of WA gained selection at the National Championships for the 2nd  World Tournament in Perth in 1967, but again had to withdraw from the team due to personal reasons.

Since retiring from playing, Dot has played a continuous, very active and significant role as a volunteer coach and administrator and is a Life Member of Netball WA, Perth Netball Association and Classics Netball Club. 

Left shows young Annette, and right shows Annette accepting the award
Annette debuted for Australia against New Zealand in 1960 after very strong performances as a Defender at the National Championships. 

She was part of Australia’s 1963 Championship Winning Team at the 1st World Tournament in England, which was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. She was also a member of the 3rd World Tournament Winning Team in 1971.

During her career, she played in almost every position according to the team requirements, such was her athletic ability, skill and knowledge of the game. 

After retiring from playing she commenced a coaching career which included the Australian Under 21 Team and premierships with the Perth Superdrome Bullets in the WA State League, now known as the Gold Industry Group WA Netball League.

Annette was also awarded Netball WA Life Membership in 2003 and was inducted into the Netball Australia Hall of Fame in 2012.

Left shows young Val, and right shows Val accepting the award
Val was part of Australia’s Winning Team at the First World Tournament in England in 1963. 

She started her career as a Goal Keeper before moving to Wing Defence and was a tenacious player who could read the play with a sense of timing that resulted in numerous interceptions. 

After retiring from playing Val transferred her knowledge to coaching, which included success at National Championships with WA State Under-Age teams. She was also the Head Coach of the Hong Kong National Team for a period of time. 

Val was also a Netball WA Board Member and her contribution to the sport cannot be over- estimated. She is a Life Member of Netball WA and Royals Netball Club. 

Left shows young Di, and right shows award being accepted on behalf of Di
(Right image depicts award being accepted by Dianne's son Beau and daughter Bree)

Dianne’s enthusiastic, supportive and inclusive manner made her a much-valued team member at both state and national level. She was an outstanding Wing and Goal Defender with a “never say die attitude” and was often described as the “totally coachable player”. 

She was a member of the World Championship winning Australian Team at the 6th World Championship in Singapore in 1983 and also played in the 1985 Tri-Test Series in Australia. 

Dianne started her Coaching journey with Rangers in the then WA State League in 1989, coached the WA State Under 21 Team for three years, and was the Inaugural Coach of the Perth Orioles in the National League from 1997-1998.

Left shows young Sally, and right shows Sally accepting the award
Sally began her international career as a Goal Keeper in a tour to England in 1986 and was a member of the Australian Team that won a silver medal at the 1987 World Championships in Scotland. 

She was Vice Captain of Australia’s winning World Youth Cup Team in 1988 and also a member of the Open National Team, taking Silver at the World Games in 1989. 

Although selected to play at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Sally was forced to withdraw due to injury – cutting short her international netball career at the age of 24.  

Sally continued to play at both Interstate and State League level and was awarded the MVP for the inaugural season of the Perth Orioles.   

After retiring from playing Sally continued her involvement as a coach and enjoyed success with Coastal Sharks in the State League winning premierships in 1995 (player) & 2011 Coach (coach). Sally attained Netball WA Life Membership in 2013. 

Left shows young Elsma, and right shows Elsma accepting the award
Elsma is one of four WA developed players to have earnt the honour of representing Australia at 2 of the 10 World Championships held during the 20th Century and is one of a small group who have both Captained and Coached WA’s elite Netball Team. 

She made her debut at the 2nd World Tournament in Perth in 1967 and was also selected for the 3rd World Championships in 1971 in Kingston, Jamaica. Elsma remains the youngest player to debut for Australia at a World Tournament. 

Playing in both the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter positions in 1971, Elsma played a significant role in Australia regaining the World Championship Title. 

After being the inaugural administrator of the State League, Elsma coached WA Teams in a range of National Competitions and also led Coastal Pumas to a State League Premiership in 1995.  

Elsma was awarded Netball WA Life Membership in 2016 and is a member of the Netball Australia Hall of Fame. 

Left shows young Gaye, and right shows Gaye accepting the award
Gaye holds the distinction of being Western Australia’s only Triple World Championship player to date.  She was a team member at the 2nd World Tournament in Perth in 1967, Captain of the 3rd World Championship Winning Team in Jamaica in 1971 and Vice-Captain at the 5th World Championship in Trinidad and Tobago in 1979. 

A highly decorated player with speed, skill and flair Gaye made an immediate impact playing in the Centre and Wing Attack positions.  She remains the only WA developed player to Captain a winning Australian Team to a World Championship. 

Gaye was also an Australian Institute of Sport Netball Program’s Coach for  17 years, the last 8 years as Head Coach. In 1990, she became the second National Coach originally from WA, and the Perth Orioles coach from 1999 to 2002. She is also a member of the Netball Australia Hall of Fame.