A $9.7 million upgrade of the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields (WMPF) is now complete, providing new and improved sporting facilities and a tribute to Australian servicewomen.

The State Government contributed $9.2 million to carry out works on the St Marys venue, which includes construction of a new memorial plaza space set in the centre of the site, improved playing surfaces, new change rooms and clubrooms and new sports field lighting.

The project also received a $500,000 grant through the Australian Government Community Development Grants Programme towards the memorial.

The new memorial is dedicated to the nurse who survived and those killed in the Bangka Island massacre - one of the worst atrocities inflicted on Australian women in World War II - and to all Australian women who have served.

The redevelopment is significant in not only honouring women of the past but also playing an important role in developing a physically active community in the future.

The WMPF hosts home games for the Flinders United Women’s Football Club and Sturt Lacrosse Club for both women’s and men’s games.

The site is also home to the South Australian Women’s Memorial Playing Fields (SAWMPF) Trust who will continue to host the Bangka Day Memorial Service at the WMPF in February each year.

In the early 1950s, the site was identified as a suitable location to address the shortage of areas for women and girls to play sport and the needs of relatives and supporters of those who lost their lives on Bangka Island, who were seeking a memorial.

Quotes attributable to Katrine Hildyard, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing

I’m so proud that South Australia is now home of the southern hemisphere’s largest memorial for women, commemorating the Australian women who survived and were killed in World War II and all Australian women who have served.

The site will enable all attendees to be able to pay their respects and have a greater appreciation and understanding of history.

I’m also delighted that more than 3,000 individuals will use these facilities on a yearly basis, encouraging more young people (particularly women and girls) and families to enjoy the fitness and social benefits associated with participation in sport.

Quotes attributable to Felicity Evans, Sturt Lacrosse Club Secretary and Marketing and Sponsorships Coordinator

Our new home has reinvigorated our members, players and supporters and has allowed us to work more effectively than ever to grow and develop our sport and our club.

The new playing surface and the fantastic new lighting is the envy of the wider lacrosse community – we look forward to showing them off during the Senior Nationals Tournament which we are hosting next June!

Quotes attributable to Shannen Connolly, Flinders United Women’s Football Club President

The Women’s Memorial Playing Fields having been established in the 1950s by trail-blazing women is steeped in culture and provides pathways for youth, right through to retirement.

It’s where Cumberland United Women’s Football Club and Flinders Flames Women’s Football Club joined forces to write a new chapter of women’s soccer in South Australia, becoming a formidable all female force that is known as Flinders United Women’s Football Club.

We are thrilled to grow this legacy on the newly renovated and reopened playing field, which started from the most humble of beginnings but retains such a grand purpose for females in sport.

Quotes attributable to Helen Fischer, SAWMPF Trust President

The Trust is excited to be part of this project to redevelop the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields.

Our vision for the future is to ensure that the memorial not only continues to honour and commemorate the nurses who were massacred on Radji Beach, but that it also stands as an iconic memorial to all women who have served in the Australian Defence Force.

It is now the largest memorial in the Southern Hemisphere dedicated to women who have served, and the Trust is proud of its contribution towards this valuable community space.