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An exciting new exhibition, Our footy, our people, our stories, which explores 145 years of great moments and achievements of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) is opening on Friday 3 June at the State Library of South Australia. The State Library and the SANFL History Centre have again joined forces to bring this part of South Australia’s sporting history alive. The exhibition has been curated by Mark Gilbert from the State Library.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • recognition of the football career of the late great Russell Ebert OAM
  • many hours of video highlights of SANFL football, including grand finals, interstate games and Magarey Medal telecasts, some never-before-seen match footage
  • a seven-metre wide panoramic Showdown photo at Adelaide Oval
  • a sketchbook from GW Cox jewellers showcasing their Magarey Medal designs dating back to 1932
  • the phenomenal contribution and evolution of women’s football
  • rare items from the SANFL History Centre’s vast collection, including medals, posters, photographs, trophies and fan memorabilia.

The State Library has complemented this material by including items from the library’s collections.
Highlights include two Magarey Medals donated by the families of the 1929 winner Bob Snell, and
Max Pontifex who won in 1932, as well as images from the scrapbooks of goalkicking icon Ken

The State Library and SANFL, through the History Centre, share a common goal to collect and
preserve the history of South Australia. This free exhibition tells the stories that provide an insight
into the social history of South Australia.

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler says,

“The SANFL and SA Football Commission are thrilled to see another SANFL history exhibition presented at the State Library of South Australia.

“Football certainly plays a significant part in the history books of South Australia and continues to be part of the fabric of our culture and society. This is a great opportunity to once again celebrate our game and the achievements past and present of the League.”

Geoff Strempel, Director State Library of South Australia says,

“We are again pleased to be working with the SANFL to share more stories about the history of football in South Australia.”

“Stories connect the past to the present and into the future for the next generations to enjoy and learn from. Tapping into emotions, stories connect people from all walks of life. We know football is much loved in South Australia and we look forward to welcoming supporters of the game who might not have been to the State Library before.”

Many of us enjoy the rivalry of the SANFL but now we come together to explore and cherish the
history of the competition, the characters, colour and controversy of the last 145 years.

For more information on the exhibition, including a soon to be announced events program, visit the
SANFL website or State Library website.

Media launch:

Thursday 2 June 2022, 11am
Meet in the Treasures Wall, first floor, State Library of South Australia

Media are invited to view the exhibitions and the following people will be available for comment:

  • Geoff Strempel – Director State Library of South Australia
  • Mark Gilbert – Exhibition Curator, State Library of South Australia
  • Darren Chandler – CEO, SANFL
  • Chris Halbert OAM – SANFL History Centre Manager and Curator
  • John Halbert MBE AM – Australian and SA Football Hall of Fame member; Sturt premiership great; 1961 Magarey Medallist
  • Graham Cornes OAM – Australian and SA Football Hall of Fame member; Glenelg premiership great
  • Erin Sundstrom – 2022 North Adelaide SANFLW Co-Captain

Exhibition details:

On display from 3 June to 16 October 2022
Open: Monday to Tuesday: 8am to 7pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12 to 5pm
(closed public holidays)

Treasures Wall
State Library of South Australia
Corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue
Free entry

Media enquiries:

Mark Gilbert
Exhibitions, Media and Marketing Librarian

State Library of South Australia
Mobile 0403 934 678

Renato Castello
Senior Consultant

Michels Warren Public Relations
Mobile 0423 064 320

Download the media release