Parramatta Auburn unveil Marie Dunn courts

Amongst a flurry of celebration, Parramatta Auburn Netball Association officially unveiled the Marie Dunn OAM netball courts on Saturday 1 June.

Auburn City Mayor, His Worship Ned Attie, officially reopened the 17 newly resurfaced courts at their Lidcombe base to the applause of attending guests, including Netball NSW Chief Executive Carolyn Campbell.

“Congratulations to Parramatta Auburn on the success of their opening ceremony – their updated facilities look fantastic and Netball NSW is looking forward to the Association co-hosting both the State Championships this weekend, and State Age Championships at the end of the month,” Campbell said.

“Marie Dunn OAM is a legend of our organisation and Parramatta Auburn.  Naming the courts in her honour is a wonderful acknowledgment of the many years Marie dedicated to the sport and community.”

Parramatta Auburn President Kim Higgins has previously described the project as her “Mecca”, and says it was a logical decision to rename the courts in honour of Marie Dunn OAM.

“Renaming the courts after Marie has actually been in the pipeline for a number of years; we found an old submission to Council dated in 2004 which Marie had actually signed herself.  So once we had Council approval for our grant, it was a logical decision to follow through with that original plan and rename the courts the Marie Dunn OAM netball courts,” Higgins said.

“When we started this project it was a little stressful considering we had a definitive deadline of hosting State Championships, so it’s a big relief that we are finally here.  I have so many people to thank for helping us, particularly Auburn City Mayor Ned Attie and our Life Members for attending our opening ceremony, and a special thank you to Natalie Ng for organising the ‘PANA Party’ – it was a terrific day!”

“Lastly I want to thank Marie Dunn.  Without Marie the Association wouldn’t be where we are today,” Higgins concluded.

Marie Dunn OAM is a legendary figure of the NSW netball community – Netball NSW Hall of Fame (2011), Netball NSW (1989) and Parramatta Auburn (1979) Life Membership, Anne Clark Service Award (1987), the Australian Sports Medal (2000) and the Order of Australia Medal (2007) were just some of the recognition of her commitment to the sport.

No task was ever too big or too small for Marie, who during her time undertook a variety of roles including coach, scorer, manager, recorder, administrator and umpire, as well as holding various committee positions including President of Parramatta Auburn for 14 years.

Marie joined the board of Netball NSW in 1980 as the Assistant Secretary, and was the organisation’s first Direction of Marketing; a position she held until 1996.  Her marketing ability was recognised in netball circles around the country and she was quickly invited to sit on a number of different committees, including establishing the inaugural All Australian Marketing Committee.  This led to roles on the 1991 World Netball Championship Committee, where she was responsible for the overall marketing of the event.