Sports clubs pay tribute to Liza Pharaoh at Western Park opening

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Warragul’s Western Park was abuzz as sporting clubs, community members, Council and State government gathered in record numbers on Thursday 25 May for the highly anticipated grand opening event and official naming of the Liza Pharaoh Pavilion.

The recent completion of the $2.089million Western Park redevelopment project provided much to celebrate, including the reconstruction of two netball courts, LED sports lighting upgrades and a brand-new netball player and umpire amenities pavilion named after local netball legend Liza Pharaoh.

“These works paired with the new players pavilion have transformed Western Park’s netball facilities and created a vibrant space for the clubs and the community to enjoy” said Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Annemarie McCabe at the official opening.

Home of the Warragul Football and Netball Club (the Gulls) and Warragul Industrials Football Netball Club (the Dusties), both clubs played pivotal role in advocating for the redevelopment works.

“With participation numbers on the rise across both clubs, the need for female-friendly facilities was front of mind for Council. We are consistently working towards creating inclusive and welcoming spaces that eliminate barriers to female participation in sports. Through our work with the Project Reference Group, the community has helped us create a space that will support and enrich our sporting community now and into the future,” said Mayor McCabe.

As part of the grand opening celebrations, members of the Dusties and the Gulls united in numbers to also celebrate the naming of the Liza Pharaoh Pavilion, recognising the significant contributions Ms Pharaoh has made to the netball community in Warragul.

The sheer number of attendees at the opening alongside Liza’s family members Carol and Jodie Pharaoh, was a testament to the respect Liza inspired both on and off the court.

Liza’s long and illustrious netball career spanned over 20 years and garnered many accomplishments and accolades. Paired with her passion for coaching and mentoring the next generation of netballers, Liza was an inspiration not only to her teammates but the broader community.

“Liza gave so much to our club and community. Most weeks she would be here at the netball courts 6 days a week. 3 days for netball and 3 days for personal training. She just loved it. So it’s only fitting that the place where she spent most of her days over the last 25 years was named after her”, says Liza’s long-time friend and teammate, Kate Farrell.

Following a significant number of submissions to Council’s Place Names Advisory Committee, Baw Baw Shire Council unanimously voted to name the pavilion after Liza, honouring her contribution to the Baw Baw community.

The Western Park redevelopment project was made possible by support from the Victorian Government’s $1.44 million Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program, partnered with Council’s contribution of $649,000 through its Capital Works budget.

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Image: Harriet Shing MP, Member for Eastern Victoria speaking to the crowd at the official opening.

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Image: Kate Farrell, close friend of Liza Pharaoh and life member of the Warragul Industrials Football Netball Club, speaking to the crowd at the official opening.

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Image: Kelly Sheehan, member of the Warragul Football Netball Club and member of the Project Reference Group speaking to the crowd at the official opening.

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Image: L-R Carol and Jodie Pharaoh, Kelly Sheehan, Liza’s nephew Flynn McPherson, Kate Farrell, Harriet Shing MP and Baw Baw Shire Mayor, Annemarie McCabe.

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Image: L – R, Kate Farrell, Jodie Pharaoh, Wayne Farnham MP, Carol Pharaoh, Cr Danny Goss, Harriet Shing MP, Cr Jazmin Tauru, Leigh Allchin, Mayor Annemarie McCabe, Cr Michael Leaney, Nicole Freeth and Shane Paynter.

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Image: L – R, Kate Farrell, Carol Pharaoh and Jodie Pharaoh.

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