Australia Day honours for netball community

Netball NSW would like to congratulate our community members who were awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 2019 Australia Day Honours ceremonies. 

In wonderful news, Life Member Yvonne Richardson (Mt Druitt Netball Association),  Jennie Webster (Liverpool City Netball Association) and Shirley O’Brien (Ballina Netball Association) were all recipients this year.

Richardson, a Netball NSW Council delegate appointee in 1983 and a former director of events for the organisation, has been a champion of the game across the state for decades.

In 1990 she was a member of Netball Australia Score bench personnel and in 1994 she was appointed as an inaugural member of the National Timing and Scoring Panel.

Her ongoing contribution to the innovation of systems including score sheets, automatic timers, computerised recording systems and methods of grading has been instrumental in netball’s evolution into the highly respected code it is today.

A founder, player, coach and administrator, O’Brien has become synonymous with netball in Ballina since its inception. She was made a Life Member of the Association in  1985 and was the recipient of an Anne Clark BEM Service Award from Netball NSW in 2010.

On top of those honours, O’Brien was named the Ballina Shire Sportsperson of the Year in 2016, and was also a Baton Bearer in the Queen’s Baton Relay in the run-up to last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Webster, who received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000, is another fine champion of netball. She has shone brightly as an umpire, coach and statistician for decades and worked at events such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, the World Netball Championships and the Asian Youth Cup.

A former head coach of the Sydney Netball Academy, who also sat on the State Selection Panel and Umpires Operating Panel, she became a Life Member of Liverpool City Netball Association in 2016 and has recently coached at Premier League level with ERNA Hawks and Sutherland Stingrays.