About Evonne Goolagong-Cawley

Evonne Goolagong Cawley, MBE, AO is a Wiradjuri Aborigine. She has been Australian of the Year and Australian Sportsman of the Year. In 1988 she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Rhode Island and the following year, into the Aboriginal Sporting Hall of Fame. At Barcelona in 1992, she became one of the first ever international Olympic torch bearers and later at Monte Carlo, was part of the successful Sydney 2000 bid. Evonne served on the National Indigenous Advisory Committee to SOCOG at the games. In 2003 Evonne received the IOC Women & Sport Trophy for her services in those fields.

In her glorious tennis career Evonne was ranked the number one player in the world in 1971 and 1976. In total she won 92 pro tournaments, was a finalist in 18 Grand Slam events winning Wimbledon twice, the Australian Open 4 times, the French Open once and was runner up 4 years in succession at the US Open. At her second Wimbledon triumph in 1980 Evonne became the first mother to win since Dorothy Lambert Chambers in 1914. She represented Australia 7 times in the Fed Cup winning in 1971/3/4 and was Australia’s Fed Cup Captain from 2002-04. 

        Winning Wimbledon in 1980 for the second time

        Winning Wimbledon in 1980 for the second time

In 1991, prompted by the death of her mother and determined to expand her knowledge of her Aboriginal heritage, Evonne left the USA to reside in Australia. In 1993, her autobiography “Home! The Evonne Goolagong Story” was published and became an immediate best seller. With Sir William Deane, she has been the Co-Patron of Reconciliation Australia.

In 1995/96 she was a board member of the Australian Sports Commission. In July 1997/2001 the Federal Government appointed Evonne as a consultant in Indigenous Sport forming The Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust to review Aboriginal sports facilities and raise funds to finance new facilities and equipment. In 2003 the ASC presented her with The Margaret Pewtress Memorial Award for her services to sport.


From 1998 – 2005 Tennis Australia appointed Evonne as a “Tennis Ambassador” to increase overall female participation in tennis throughout Australia.

In 2007-11 Evonne was a Board member of the Indigenous Land Corporation and in 2008 was elected to the board of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. In 2011, Evonne received the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sport. In August 2012, Evonne established and became the first Chair of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation.

Evonne has received Honorary Doctorates from Charles Sturt University, Griffith University, the University of Sydney and the University of South Australia and an Honorary Fellowship from Monash University.

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, the program has awarded school scholarships, produced university scholars, tennis players, coaches, and sports administrators and has helped with employment placement.  Since 2012, under the auspices of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation and in conjunction with the Australian Government,  the Dream, Believe, Learn, Achieve programme has conducted Tennis Come and Try Days nationwide giving access to Goolagong State Development Camps which in turn feed into the GNDC .

Evonne and husband Roger have two children Kelly and Morgan, two grand daughters Beau Maya and Lucy Nikita and reside at Noosa Heads Qld where they are the proud patrons of both the Noosa Football and Tennis Clubs.       




About the Evonne Goolagong Foundation Programs


Under the auspices of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation, the Goolagong National Development Camp targets Indigenous young people between the ages of 12 and 21 for four main purposes:

  1. Use tennis as a vehicle to promote and help provide high quality education and teach better health through diet and exercise.
  2. Increase the number of young Indigenous people playing tennis both competitively and socially
  3. Support young Indigenous people who have the potential to play at the elite level and make a career in tennis either as a player, coach or administrator.
  4. Develop in all young people who come through the camps the ability to lead, plan and organise so they can contribute these skills in their own Communities when they return as well as work effectively with non-Indigenous individuals and organisations.

We have now entered our 21st year of working with Aboriginal children. A national program was devised beginning with ‘Come and Try Days’ followed by assisted coaching then selection to a Goolagong State Development Camp. It was envisaged these would lead to a Goolagong National Development Camp the first of which was held in January 2005 and is now based at Monash University in Melbourne during the first week of the Australian Open.

From the GNDC, mentored school scholarships and employment opportunities are offered. Since 2005, Evonne has awarded scholarships to outstanding camp participants at schools around Australia.

Around 25 young men and women who have all come through the program and are now in their late teens and early twenties work with us as we move around the country providing ideal role models for today’s youngsters.

In 2012, in partnership with the Australian Government the Dream, Believe, Learn, Achieve programme each year has run‘Come and Try’ days across each State and Territory with some participants chosen to receive assisted coaching. Progression to a Goolagong State Development Camp (GSDC) can follow with the aim of selection to the Goolagong National Development Camp (GNDC) held each January in Melbourne during the first week of the Australian Open. Mentored school scholarships are awarded from the GNDC. To date, almost 3800 youngsters have entered the programme and in 2016 thirty youngsters have progressed to the GNDC 2017.

Fifteen camp graduates have successfully completed their coaching certificates with one having experienced a year coaching overseas in England and in addition, five graduates began a career in sports administration. Nine further graduates are undertaking various levels of Coaching Certificates.

Another scholarship student, Kyah Stewart who was given her first racquet by Evonne when she was eight, received the Group Training Australia Australian Trainee of the Year (Indigenous) Award in 2010 and has since been rewarded with a full development officer role with the NSW Government. Kyah has now turned full cycle and is working as the  National Projects Manager at the Evonne Goolagong Foundation.

Anzac Leidig who has worked with us since the first GNDC in 2005 has been rewarded with a new position as Head Coach / Program Coordinator for the Evonne Goolagong Foundation.                                              

National Projects Manager Kyah Stewart with Evonne at the Grafton Come and Try Day 2014

National Projects Manager Kyah Stewart with Evonne at the Grafton Come and Try Day 2014

Anzac Leidig our Head Coach/Program Coordinator

Anzac Leidig our Head Coach/Program Coordinator

8 senior camp attendees have played on the pro tour. Three of our scholarship girls helped Pymble Ladies College win the Australian Schools Championship in 2009, then represented Australia in the World Schools Championship, finishing fifth. 

 Through 2016 the GNDC has had fifteen graduates attend University.

We are very proud of all of our GNDC graduates’ achievements.