Australians have always punched above their weight in the sporting arena, and there's nothing better than holding a trophy aloft to celebrate. The Museum holds several significant trophies in our collection, all with fascinating stories behind them.
Evonne Goolagong is one of Australia’s most successful tennis players and was the first Indigenous Australian to achieve recognition in tennis on the world stage.
She won seven grand slam tournaments — the Australian Open four times, Wimbledon twice and the French Open once.
The Museum’s Evonne Goolagong Cawley collection features Goolagong’s 1971 and 1980 Wimbledon singles trophies, the trophy from her 1974 doubles win, and two racquets used in these tournaments.
It also includes a signed warm-up jacket and a dress with a bolero-style top, designed by Teddy Tinling in the early 1970s.
John Konrads was born in Latvia in 1942 and migrated to Australia in 1949 with his family.
Konrads was a natural in the water, and at just 14 he was included as a reserve on the swimming team at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. He was one of Australia’s youngest Olympians.
In 1958 he won three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales and became the first male swimmer to hold every freestyle world record from 200m to 1500m.
At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Konrads brought home two bronze medals for the 400m freestyle and the 4x200m freestyle relay and won the coveted gold medal for the 1500m freestyle.
Konrads described his medals as his ‘most prized possessions’ but sadly in 1985 they were stolen from his home. The International Olympic Committee presented John with new medals.
Then in 2009 Konrads’ stolen medals appeared on the collector’s market. They had been bought at a garage sale a decade earlier.
The 1934 Melbourne Cup trophy won by Peter Pan is held in the Museum’s collection.
Some considered Peter Pan a better horse than his contemporary Phar Lap, although the two never raced each other. Peter Pan is one of only five horses to have won two Melbourne cups. He also won in 1932.
Since European settlement, horseracing has been an important and widespread part of Australian sporting culture. The Melbourne Cup has become ingrained in Australian culture and forms an integral part of Australia’s national identity.
We’ll keep bringing objects, collections, exhibitions and programs from the vault as part of the Museum from Home experience. Stay tuned!