Talk: Remembering and reminiscing on 70 years of basketball in Darwin

Wednesday, 15 May, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Event Details

  • Date
    Wednesday, 15 May, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Location
    Northern Territory Library
  • Cost
Woman holding a basketball

Maisie Austin’s basketball career commenced in 1963 when she played B Grade for Kayjets. At that time, uniforms were handmade, including the numbers, and before the season commenced, she and her girlfriends spent a day cutting out a pattern on brown paper and stitching the pieces together on a Singer treadle sewing machine. None of the girls were dressmakers, so they just winged it and hoped for the best.

Basketball became Maisie's passion and a big part of her history. She gained a lot of governance and other experiences from being a club president, Association president, CEO, player, coach and referee, and was privileged to be a part of the basketball era from the 1960s, sharing life and stories with many of the players from those bygone years. 

Her basketball career started at the Daly Street courts when games were played at night and training was in the hot sun on the weekend. Not many thought to wear sunscreen or a hat – it’s just how it was. Games during the Wet Season were played in the rain and were only called off when the courts became too slippery. On those occasions, players enjoyed a few drinks at the Koala Hotel across the road until the games were resumed or it was time to go home. Things changed when basketball moved to Spectrum Stadium at Marrara. The only difference was that clubs enjoyed their drink, nibbles and partying in the car park!

These are just some of the stories to be shared by Maisie Austin and Sandra Lew Fatt as part of the Down memory lane…a history of 70 years of Darwin basketball exhibition. Exhibition open 11 April - 26 May 2019 during Library opening hours.

About Maisie Austin
Maisie was raised and educated in Darwin, one of 13 children, has been a company director and business owner for over 40 years and a sportswoman since the early 1960s playing basketball, hockey, softball, netball and tennis. 

She has been an NT representative player, coach and referee in both basketball and hockey, attained a National Level 2 basketball coach accreditation and a State referee’s badge for basketball and hockey.

Maisie was the Chairperson of the inaugural Arafura Festival in 1991, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to sport, selected as one of the torch bearers for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, awarded the Australian Sports Medal, and inducted into the NT Hall of Champions in 2007.

She is a past president of Women’s Network NT, is a Celebrant, historian and author, and is currently the CEO of the Northern Territory Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation.

About Sandra Lew Fatt
Sandra Lew Fatt is a Life Member of Darwin Basketball Association. She has been involved as a player in the 1950s and in the administration of Darwin basketball for over 20 years. 

Sandra has held the positions of President, Vice President, Registrar and Secretary, she was a delegate on the NT Basketball Association Committee and has been the Team Manager for Darwin Representative teams on several occasions.


This event is part of the Darwin Heritage Festival Program (5 – 19 May) by the National Trust of Australia

Photo courtesy of Maisie Austin