An iconic moment in Australian sport – the Tayla Harris kick, which sparked wide celebration and praise during the 2019 NAB AFLW season – is being etched in bronze forever.
Standing at 3.3m tall, the statue captures the now-famous photograph by Michael Willson of the AFL Women’s player and her kick which made headlines in early 2019 and sparked a global conversation about women, their talent, inclusivity and the power of community.
Carlton FC player, Tayla Harris said she was humbled and excited by this statue and what it represented.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, young or old – everyone has a right to do what they love,” Ms Harris said.
“That’s what I want people to see when they look at this.”
Unveiling a prototype of the statue in Melbourne’s Federation Square today, NAB’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, Rachel Slade said she hoped it would light a fire inside women and men both young and old to stand up for what they believed in.
“Bronze statues typically commemorate the greatness of an individual. This statue symbolises the potential of a generation,” Ms Slade said.
“Greatness shouldn’t be confined to goals, kicks, runs, medals or gender. It’s also about all of us realising our potential.
“When the kids of today saw that photo of Tayla, and when they see this statue, they shouldn’t see gender. They should see strength, athleticism and possibility, and that has the power to change the future.”
Created by sculptor Terrance Plowright in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, the final bronze statue is expected to weigh one tonne and has taken over 2000 hours to make to date.
NAB is working with Tayla to determine where the finished statue should permanently live once complete, which is expected to be in early 2020.
“We’ve been a proud partner of the AFL since 2002, and the NAB AFL Women’s Competition since inception, and to be able to work with them on a very real female pathway from the grass roots of Auskick through to elite competition is very rewarding,” Ms Slade said.
“This statue was made for the community, and our hope is that it reignites some important conversations on sporting fields and in offices alike.”
AFL General Manager Commercial Kylie Rogers said the partnership with NAB created ongoing opportunities to celebrate the unique stories that inspire others.
“We enjoy a genuine partnership with NAB, who have supported the AFL in bringing the NAB AFL Women’s Competition to life since its inaugural season in 2017. Over the years we’ve seen the competition turn into a movement, uniting fans who are passionate about footy being a game for everyone,” Mrs Rogers said.
The prototype statue will remain in Federation Square until after the 2019 Toyota AFL Finals Series on Sunday 29 September, 2019.