- 15 January 1918
Armadale, Victoria, Australia
- 4 December 1987
Canterbury, Victoria, Australia
- Netball Coach, Netball Player, Sports Administrator and University teacher
Eunice Gill was an All Australian netball player who had a long term and profound influence on the development of Australian women's sport and sports administration in general. A graduate of the University of Melbourne (B.A. 1940, Dip. Phys. Ed. 1945), her views on the importance of sport and physical education were influenced by another netball player, Lorna McConchie, who helped to establish the physical education course at the University of Melbourne, and who was one of Gill's teachers at university.
It became obvious very quickly that Gill not only had a talent for sport, but for teaching, coaching and administration, talents that her paid work and community interests allowed her to express and explore to the maximum. Gill eventually went on to obtain a permanent position teaching in the Department of Physical Education. She used study leave in 1972-73 to undertake a Master of Arts coursework degree in physical education at Leeds University, from which she graduated in July 1973.
While studying and teaching, Gill remained closely associated with the game of netball. She was appointed coach of the Victorian team in 1954, the same year she was appointed president of the All Australia Women's Basketball Association. In 1960, she was appointed coach of the Australian team, while still being the coach of the state team. She served on the executive of the International Federation of Netball Associations through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contributing to the drawing up of an international code for the game in 1960.
She was influential outside of netball, too. Her reputation and qualifications led, among other things, to her appointment as a foundation member of the board of directors of the Confederation of Australian Sport in 1976. The following year she was the only woman on the Sports Advisory Council established by the Federal Government. In 1980 she was appointed to the committee established by the Victorian government to investigate the teaching of Physical Education in schools. As chair of the Australian Council in the early 1980s, she was responsible for the polices and procedures of the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme overseeing 33,000 registered coaches.
Eunice Gill died in 1987 and was posthumously honoured by the Australian Sports Commission, who created and named an award for excellence in coaching and coach development after her. Most recently, she was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame as an associate member. Those who knew her well praised her for her personal qualities of 'charm', 'dignity', 'diplomacy' and 'her delightful sense of humour' along with her legacy of improving the standard of coaching and administration and 'rais[ing] the profile of of women in the community.