The concept of a Women's Memorial Playing Fields emanated from the concern of sporting women for the lack of playing areas. From this concern the South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council was formed in 1953.
The Premier the Hon Tom Playford set aside 20 acres of reserve land on the corner of Shepherds Hill Road and Ayliffes Road, St Marys for a centre for women's sport.
From 1953-55 the fields progressed and prospered. In 1956 to honour those who had paid the supreme sacrifice, a memorial drinking fountain was erected, and the grounds as a whole were dedicated to the South Australia Servicewomen who served in World Wars I & II by the Reverend Leslie Gunn. A Bangka ceremony, remembering the nurses and other women in the services, is held each February.
The work of early Trust members is commemorated in the naming of the Helen Black oval, the Gordon Brown oval and the May Mills Pavilion.
The Women's Memorial Playing fields are the only dedicated women's memorial of this calibre in Australia.
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR) and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) are upgrading the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields, St Marys to deliver an enhanced sporting precinct.
Amenities which will be upgraded include:
Next steps (projected timelines):
Bangka Day 2021 will be held at Government House and will return to Women’s Memorial Playing Fields in 2022.
Women's Memorial Playing Fields
Cnr Shepherds Hill Road and Ayliffes Road
St Marys SA 5042
SA Cricket Association
Phone: (08) 8300 3800
In 2008 the Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, as owner of the land, granted a 21-year lease to the South Australian Cricket Association. The South Australian Cricket Association now manages and maintains the fields and has long term plans for the upgrade and development of the facility. Women's cricket, lacrosse, hockey, tennis and soccer all continue to be played at the fields.
The SA Cricket Association manages all hire enquiries.