Netball NSW and the NSW Swifts are delighted to congratulate NSW Swifts’ co-captain and current Australian Diamond, Mo’onia Gerrard, on receiving a Certificate of Commendation from the NSW Government.
On Wednesday 13 March, the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council passed unanimously a Notice of Motion of The Honourable Marie Ficarra MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW, commending Mo’onia for her outstanding excellence in sport and service to the community.
Carolyn Campbell, Netball NSW Chief Executive Officer, said this is wonderful acknowledgment for not only a talented sportswomen, but exceptional community ambassador.
“We are thrilled for, and proud of, Mo’onia on this much deserved recognition,” said Campbell.
“This Certificate of Commendation is public acknowledgment for the passion and commitment Mo’onia demonstrates on and off the court daily.
“Mo’onia’s roll of honour as an elite netballer speaks for itself, but it’s her leadership and drive in the community which sets her apart from her peers.” concluded Carolyn Campell.
With just over a week until Mo’onia line-ups for her sixth ANZ Championship, Ms Gerrard spoke of her surprise at this honour.
“I’m shocked and humbled at receiving this Commendation.” expressed Gerrard.
“Netball has provided me with many opportunities, socially and professionally, and I’m very fortunate to be in a position where I can help make a difference, particularly at grassroots level.
“I would like to thank the NSW Government for giving me with this honour, and to everyone who has, and continues to, influence and support my career.”
Mo’onia will be invited by the NSW Government to an official ceremony in the near future where she will be formally presented with a Certificate of Commendation.
Mo’onia Gerrard Tribute as presented to the House;
(a) Miss Mo’onia Gerrard, of Australian and Tongan heritage, commenced her netball career at a very young age, often participating in training sessions of her mother Kalasie Gerrard’s senior Dee Why Beach Netball Club Team, and when she was old enough to register in a team, commenced playing with Narrabeen Youth Club and was later selected to represent Manly Warringah Netball Association at NSW State Age, State Championships and State League, received an Australian Institute of Sport Scholarship and was first selected to represent Australia in the 17/U in 1997, then 19/U 1998-1999, 21/U 2000-2001 (World Youth Netball Championships 2000) and the Australian Open Team 2001-2013,
(b) Miss Gerrard played a major role in Australia reversing its losing streak against New Zealand in mid-2006, and in November 2007 played a key role for Australia when it won the World Netball Championships,
(c) in 2010, Miss Gerrard represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, winning a silver medal and again represented Australia at the 2011 World Netball Championships winning the Championship,
(d) Miss Gerrard has earned 58 Test Caps for Australia,
(e) at the domestic level, Ms Gerrard played five years with the Sydney Sandpipers and during that time received the 1999 Best New Talent Award and the Player’s Player Award in 2003,
(f) in 2003, Miss Gerrard became a member of the NSW Swifts Netball Team and is now its co-captain,
(g) from 2008 to 2010, Miss Gerrard played for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the new ANZ Championship, playing three seasons with the Thunderbirds, reaching the playoffs in all three years, winning the championship in 2010 and in was awarded the Holden International Player of the Year,
(h) in the 2011 ANZ Championship, Miss Gerrard played her 50th ANZ Championship match, her 150th domestic match and is the only current Australian player to have had her team in the finals series on four separate occasions with the Thunderbirds, between 2008 and 2010, and the Swifts, in 2011, and
(i) Miss Gerrard is greatly admired for her extensive community work both here in Australia and internationally, including:
(i) establishing The Oceania Cup held last year throughout New South Wales to encourage and engage different cultures to play netball, which is now included in the Netball NSW annual calendar for ages U13s, U15s and U17s,
(ii) traveling across New South Wales to disadvantaged communities, teaching kids netball skills and giving them life advice and promoting nutrition, multicultural awareness, diversity and how to deal with bullying,
(iii) conducting Polynesian Indigenous Netball clinics in various areas,
(iv) establishing and holding an annual netball tournament in Tonga in its fifth year, called Mo’onia’s Cup,
(v) mentoring women and young girls, encouraging them to aspire to sporting and personal excellence,
(vi) in honour of Miss Gerrard’s service at an international level in promoting the development of women and girls in the Oceania region, the Prime Minister of Tonga, the Honourable Sialeʻataongo Tuʻivakanô has dedicated land to Ms Gerrard for the establishment of an international sporting centre of excellence.
2. That this House acknowledges and commends Miss Mo’onia Gerrard for her excellent achievements in sport as a representative of New South Wales and Australia in netball and for her continued outstanding service to the community, particularly in ensuring the welfare of young women and girls, promoting healthy lifestyles, diversity and sporting and personal excellence.