145 Years of SANFL – a new exhibition

Exhibition Details:

  • Opens June 3 at the State Library of SA
  • Free entry
  • Includes rare items from the SANFL History Centre’s vast collection, including medals, posters, photographs, trophies and fan memorabilia.
  • Hours of historical vision of SANFL football and events, some never-seen-before footage
  • Sketchbook of GW Cox jewellers’ Magarey Medal designs
  • SANFLW exhibits showing the remarkable evolution of women’s football

An exciting new exhibition, Our footy, our people, our stories, which explores 145 years of great moments and achievements of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) is opening on Friday 3 June at the State Library of South Australia. The State Library and the SANFL History Centre have again joined forces to bring this part of South Australia’s sporting history alive. The exhibition has been curated by Mark Gilbert from the State Library.


  • recognition of the football career of the late great Russell Ebert OAM
  • many hours of video highlights of SANFL football, including grand finals, interstate games and Magarey Medal telecasts, some never-before-seen match footage
  • a seven-metre wide panoramic photo at Adelaide Oval from a 2015 AFL match day
  • a sketchbook from GW Cox jewellers showcasing their Magarey Medal designs dating back to 1932
  • the phenomenal contribution and evolution of women’s football
  • rare items from the SANFL History Centre’s vast collection, including medals, posters, photographs, trophies and fan memorabilia.

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

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

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler says, “The SANFL and SA Football Commission are thrilled to see another SANFL history exhibition presented at the State Library of South Australia.

“Football certainly plays a significant part in the history books of South Australia and continues to be part of the fabric of our culture and society. This is a great opportunity to once again celebrate our game and the achievements past and present of the League.”

Geoff Strempel, Director State Library of South Australia says, “We are again pleased 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 into the future for the next generations to enjoy and learn from. Tapping into emotions, stories connect people from all walks of life. We know football is much loved in South Australia and we look forward to welcoming supporters of the game who might not have been to the State Library before.”

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

For more information on the exhibition, including a soon to be announced events program, visit the SANFL website or State Library website.

Exhibition Details

On display from 3 June to 16 October 2022

Open:   Monday to Tuesday: 8am to 7pm

Wednesday to Friday: 8am to 5pm

Saturday and Sunday: 12 to 5pm

(closed public holidays)


Treasures Wall

State Library of South Australia

Corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue

Free entry

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