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 30 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

2018 Jo McKee

2018 Narelle Foster

2019 Alisha Allen

2019 Rachel Anderson