145 years of SANFL – a new exhibition


Exhibition details:

  • Opens June 3 at the State Library of SA
  • Includes rare items from the SANFL History Center’s extensive collection, including medals, posters, photographs, trophies and fan memorabilia.
  • Hours of historic football viewing and SANFL events, never-before-seen footage
  • Sketchbook of Jewelers GW Cox Magarey Medal Designs
  • SANFLW exhibits showing the remarkable evolution of women’s football

An exciting new exhibition, Our football, our people, our stories, which explores 145 years of great moments and achievements of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) opens on Friday June 3 at the State Library of South Australia. The State Library and the SANFL History Center have once again joined forces to bring this part of South Australia’s sporting history to life. The exhibit was curated by Mark Gilbert of the State Library.


  • recognition of the football career of the late great Russell Ebert OAM
  • many hours of SANFL football video highlights, including Grand Finals, Interstate games and Magarey Medal telecasts, never-before-seen game footage
  • a seven-metre-wide panoramic Showdown photo at Adelaide Oval
  • a sketchbook by jewelers GW Cox featuring their Magarey medal designs from 1932
  • the phenomenal contribution and evolution of women’s football
  • rare items from the SANFL History Center’s extensive collection, including medals, posters, photographs, trophies and fan memorabilia.

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

The State Library and the 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 insight into the social history of South Australia.

SANFL Chief Executive Darren Chandler said: “SANFL and the SA Football Commission are delighted to see another exhibit of SANFL history on display at the State Library of South Australia.

“Football certainly plays an important role in the South Australian history books and continues to be part of the fabric of our culture and society. It’s a great opportunity to once again celebrate our game and past and present achievements of the League.

Geoff Strempel, Director of the State Library of South Australia, said: “We are again delighted 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 the future for future generations to enjoy and learn from. Drawing on emotions, stories connect people from all walks of life. We know football is highly valued in South Australia and we look forward to welcoming fans of the game who may not have been to the State Library before.

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

For more information about the exhibit, including a soon-to-be-announced schedule of events, visit the SANFL website or the State Library website.

On view from June 3 to October 16, 2022

Open: Monday to Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

(closed on public holidays)

wall of treasures

State Library of South Australia

Corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue



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