Image grid featuring (clockwise) Dawn Fraser, Warwick Capper, Shane Warne and Louise Sauvage

Great sporting moments make great stories. Sporting achievements helped to establish the international reputation of Australia and is a source of pride for sports crazed Aussies.

Grit & Gold: Tales from a Sporting Nation brings you a celebration of Australia’s rich sporting heritage and its effect on our culture over the years. Through a collection of books, magazines, paintings, drawings, photographs and memorabilia, the exhibition retells the stories that have brought joy, sorrow and everything in between to every Australian household (and sports pub) on game day and beyond.

Treasured memories of Australian sporting events from the Olympics, tennis, swimming, cricket and racing among others will be on display at this exhibition. This includes David Moore’s portrait of champion swimmer Dawn Fraser, the iconic Shane Warne at the MCG during the 2006 Ashes series and Betty Cuthbert’s Golden Girl moment at the 1956 Olympics.

Grit & Gold takes you on a journey from local sporting carnivals to worldwide events, covering moving stories of dedication and passion to the evolution of inclusivity in major sporting events. Join us in this tribute to the sporting stars and the local heroes as we race down memory lane.

This is an exhibition for anyone who has stood on the sidelines cheering on their children or in a grandstand supporting their favourite team. It’s game on at the National Library of Australia.

The exhibition runs from 9 June 2023 to 28 January 2024 and is exclusive to Canberra. Entry is free, no booking required.

Images at top (left to right): David Moore, Portrait of Dawn Fraser, Melbourne, 1963 (detail), nla.obj-140402089 [left hand upper]; Serena Ovens, Portrait of Louise Sauvage, 1996 paralympian (detail), nla.obj-136368441 [left hand lower]; Bruce Howard, Sydney's Warwick Capper taking a spectacular mark over Mick Martin of the Kangaroos in a game at the MCG on Anzac Day, 1991 (detail), nla.obj-148148262; Steve Holland, Australian cricketer Shane Warne holding a cricket ball and stump at the end of the Fourth Test of the Ashes Series, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 2006 (detail), nla.obj-137980452.

Read about the exhibition

See Grit & Gold online