Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- Sporting Venue
The concept of a Women's Memorial Playing Fields emanated from the concern from South Australia's sporting women over the lack of playing areas available to them. Sports field for women had always been in short supply in Adelaide, but the situation was made worse by the rapid growth of women's participation in sport in the post-war period.
This concern led to the formation of the South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council. With the help of the National Fitness Council they lobbied the government for resources and were eventually successful. In 1953 the Premier, the Hon. Tom Playford, granted the Council 20 acres of reserve land on the corner of Shepherds Hill Road and Ayliffes Road, St. Marys for a centre for women's sport.
From 1953-55 the fields progressed and prospered. In 1956 to honour those who had died during war, a memorial drinking fountain was erected, and the grounds as a whole were dedicated to the South Australia Servicewomen who served in World Wars I and II. A ceremony remembering the nurses and other women in the services is held each February.
The work of early Trust members is commemorated in the naming of the Helen Black oval, the Gordon Brown oval and the May Mills Pavilion.
The Women's Memorial Playing fields are the only dedicated women's memorial of this type in Australia.
Sources used to compile this entry: Randall, Leonie M., 'A Fair Go?: Women in Sport in South Australia: 1945 - 1965', Hons thesis, 1986. Also available at http://www.aafla.org/SportsLibrary/ASSHSSH/ASSHSSH06.pdf; South Australian Women's Memorial Playing Fields Trust - Papers, 1950 - 1983, SRG 255; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana.