Cairns Netball Association creating player pathways for Indigenous players


The Cairns Netball Association (CNA) has implemented a five-year plan to increase netball participation and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and women in Far North Queensland.

In July last year, CNA hosted the inaugural Sharon Finnan Development Cup Carnival; an event supported by Cairns Netball to implement a development pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island players, coaches, and umpires – the first of its kind in Far North Queensland. “We saw the need for a pathway for the Indigenous members of our association,” CNA Operations Manager, Kym Mcphee-Smith recalls. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for all Indigenous players to participate in our wonderful sport.”

Over 400 people attended the carnival in 2015 in its first year, with a squad of 30 selected by Australia Post One Netball Ambassadors Josie Janz-Dawson and Clare McMeniman, as well as Marlin Coast Regional Academy coach, Kelly Hynes, given the opportunity to further develop their skills.

The success of the carnival didn’t stop there, with an increase in players signing up to several of the clubs involved in the following year.

As part of winning an Australia Post One Netball Community Award, Ambassadors Clare McMeniman and Beryl Friday visited the association in November. ‘This is a great honour and one we truly respect,’ Kym said of the whole experience. ‘To be recognised for all our hard work and the importance of such a program is wonderful. We are very proud.’

Congratulations to Cairns Netball Association on winning an Australia Post One Netball Community Award. The association has won a Load & Go card valued at $1000 and a netball signed by the 2016 Diamonds team.

To find out how your club or association can get involved with the One Netball program, visit