06 Apr 2023 | Industry news |

Pioneer Audrey Kennon is honoured in NT

by Australian Golf Media

Audrey Kennon image
Audrey Kennon is celebrated at this week's function.

By Jim Tucker

Audrey Kennon has been honoured with one of the Northern Territory’s highest sporting awards as a pioneer of women’s golf in Darwin.

Her devotion to gaining equality for women’s golfers in the 1980s raised the benefits for generations of female golfers to follow.

Kennon’s positive roles in golf for more than 50 years were recognised with a prestigious Pioneer of Sport honour at last Saturday’s Northern Territory Sports Awards in Darwin.

Now 103 and in a retirement home, Kennon was unable to attend the awards but sons Robert and Bruce stepped in for her amidst a distinguished group of Darwin Golf Club representatives.

“The honour is well deserved. Audrey loved playing the game, her nurturing got many more women involved in golf and she was the driving force for equal entitlements,” said Tricia Clarke, a fellow Life Member of Darwin Golf Club.

“Thanks to Audrey, a petition from lady members moved Darwin Golf Club to make women full members with voting rights.”

That milestone in 1985 was just one of Kennon’s myriad involvements after joining Darwin Golf Club in 1948.

She was women’s Captain at the club for 12 years (1954-65), women’s President for three years and established the NT Senior Women Golfers Association, for which she was founding President (1992-2000).

Darwin Golf Club made Kennon its first female Life Member in 1964.

“Audrey took it upon herself to nurture new members to the club and keep growing the game of golf for women. She would coach the ladies and also ensure that the Rules of Golf and the etiquette of the game were maintained,” Clarke said.

When the Darwin Golf Club was relocated from Fannie Bay to its current home at Marrara, Kennon was heavily involved. The move from oiled sand scrapes to the greens of today’s championship course was the biggest in the club’s history.

On the golf course, Kennon was a regular sight in culottes and broadbrimmed hat but never a cap.

“In her mid-80s, Audrey would still enjoy playing a few holes on Tuesdays with the senior women. More than 30 years after its inception, the NT Senior Women Golfers Association is still going strong because Audrey saw the importance of older women playing and socialising,” Clarke said.

Kennon was also instrumental in establishing a women’s competition at the RAAF Darwin Golf Club in the 1960s and ‘70s.

All this in golf and Kennon still raised seven children and supported her late husband Stan in the family’s engineering hardware supplies business and workshop.

Kennon was previously honoured for her work within golf with an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and an Order of Australia (OAM) in 2005 for outstanding contribution to women’s golf in the NT.

“We’re proud of mum. It’s a lovely feeling to know she has been recognised for all the effort she put into golf and the enjoyment she got from it,” son Robert said.

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