PNA’s Beginnings

The beginning of netball (known as Women’s Basketball until 1970) was initiated in WA through the YWCA, under the leadership of Miss Marjorie Black who started Women’s Basketball in Western Australia in 1924. Mrs Maude Matthews was President of the Western Australia Women’s Basket Ball Association (WAWBBA) from 1939-1942 and 1945-1962 and was instrumental in Perth Netball Association gaining their own headquarters “Matthews’” Netball Centre in Wembley.

Due to the foresight and persistance of Mrs Matthews, the Western Australian government set aside land via the Perth City Council for the establishment of a netball centre. Working closely with Councillors from the Perth City Council over many years, the area bounded by Salvado Road and Selby Street in Wembley was set aside for the establishment of the netball centre which went on to be named ‘Matthews Basketball Centre’ in honour of the State President at the time, Mrs Maude Matthews. The first building was erected on the site in 1961 together with the provision of four hard stand courts and 46 grass courts and was officially opened in April of that year. The Centre became known as the ‘most outstanding’ Netball Centre in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 1961 all teams in the metropolitan area played under the banner of Western Australian Basketball Association as there were no other metropolitan associations. With the inception of the Matthews’ Centre it was also possible to ‘house’ the staff of the State Body in one building to supervise and oversee all matches from the one location.

In 1967 the Centre was host to the 1967 World Womens Basketball Tournament, and at the same time hosted the 1967 Australian National Titles.

In 1971 ‘basketball’ was changed to ‘netball’ to bring Australia and New Zealand in line with the rest of the world. With the change in the sport’s name, the name of the centre was also changed to Matthews Netball Centre.

As the numbers of netballers grew many other metropolitan associations came into operation as Matthews could not possibly take the number of teams wanting to participate. Associations including Fremantle, Midland, Southern Districts and Wanneroo came into force and are still in operation today.

In 1990 the State Body left the Matthews’ Netball Centre to establish its headquarters away from any domestic competition, moving to various sites over time (until moving back again into its own building in 2015). At this time a strong group of volunteers met and formed the Perth Netball Association (Inc) who continue to organise netball at the Matthews’ Netball Centre.

After working with the Perth City Council for many many years the centre came under the jurisdiction of the Town of Cambridge and the Association continues to work closely with the Town.

In 2014 Perth Netball Association hosted 10 000 games at Matthews Netball Centre, providing a fun environment for over 10 000 players and their families to enjoy netball. PNA runs a winter competition on Saturdays, a Wednesday night competition in spring and NetSetGo courses throughout the year as well as providing opportunities for coach and umpire development. In 2015 PNA, in conjunction with Netball WA, will host the Association Championships, a competition for high-level teams from netball associations around Perth.

Perth Netball Association owes a great deal to our members, we especially appreciate all the support of our Life Members from the last 25 years.



1990 Inaugural Life Members


Yvonne Ayres
Shirley Doornbusch
Alison Eliott
Kerry Gates
Wendy Lee
Kay Massey
Ev Robinson
Marj Williams


Life Members


1991 Margaret Baldwin OAM
1991 Dot Lavater
1991 Rona Richards
1992 Pam Parker
1992 Barbara Stewart
1992 Judy Wyatt
1993 Lori Patterson
1994 Edie White
1995 Bev Voce
1995 Don Leyland
1996 Bette Allison
1996 June Webb
1996 Kay Arbuckle
1997 Rusty Hazel
1998 Sue Gerrard
1998 Erma Smith
1999 Annise Law
2000 Fran Conway
2000 Kerryn McLaughlin
2000 Carol Nevin
2000 Donna Webb
2001 Renae Campbell
2001 Pat Mitchell
2001 Deb Perich
2001 Pam Whitfield
2001 Karen Turnbull
2001 Debbie Cromb
2001 Margaret Power
2002 Annette Simper
2003 Jenni Skinner
2004 Poppy Mallon
2004 Glenys Gill
2005 Marita Somerford
2006 Carol Watson
2007 Rosemairy Ovenden
2007 Judi Jones
2008 Linda Christou
2008 Yevonne Gillett
2009 Tracey Davis
2009 Donna Fox
2009 Anne Green
2011 Kate Gairns
2011 Elaine Clucas
2011 Jenni Stawell
2012 Gayle Watson-Galbraith
2012 Kerry Grynberg
2013 Alex Di Bartolomeo
2014 Sue Trew
2015 Julie Killen
2016 Michelle Atwell
2017 Brittany Whitehead