Life Members

Colin Mason

Colin Mason was responsible for submitting the initial application for a tennis club in the North Belconnen area to the National Capital Development Commission. The National Capital Development Commission responded stipulating that public support needed to be substantiated to which Colin responded by placing an ad in the Canberra Times announcing a public meeting regarding the proposal. The meeting was held with overwhelming public support for the project.

Colin was appointed the club's first Vice President and over time held a series of positions such as Club Captain, Junior Convener and finally president.

As president of the Melba Tennis Club Colin maintained a close relationship with Tennis ACT. Subsequently, Colin accepted a position as Chairman of the Board of Management of the National Sports Club. He was then appointed Vice President of Tennis ACT and finally President, a position he held for 5 years.

As President of Tennis ACT his role included membership into the Council of Tennis Australia.

Due to the significant contributions Colin has made to Tennis ACT and the sport of tennis in general he has been granted life membership of Tennis ACT and the National Sports Club.

Alex Wallenski

Both Alex along with his wife, Sue, actively contributed towards the administration of the club on many fronts. Together they assisted in the organisation of the Sunday Social, the organisation of pennant teams, as well as organising and participating in many of the clubs social occasions.

Alex also contributed immensely towards the operations of the club by serving on the Melba Tennis Club committee as Maintenance Officer for approximately 12 years, from 1986 to 1998. During this time a number of the courts still consisted of decomposed granite which required continual maintenance to sustain their playability.

Merle Coutts

Merle, along with her husband David, was a foundation member of Melba Tennis Club. In fact, the very first meeting of the small committee of Dr Roy Green, Colin Mason and David Coutts, elected by the gathering in Melba Hall in 1975 to steer the foundation of the Club, was held at their home.

In the early years she took on the role of Ladies Convener but the arrival of her first son, in 1977, meant that her participation was curtailed for a period of time. However, playing pennant in Club teams remained an important recreation for her.

In October 2001, Merle joined the Committee as Treasurer. At that time, the Club struggled to attract members and was in a difficult position financially. The Committee had been reduced to a few stalwarts determined to keep the Club running. The courts were in dire need of refurbishment, two still being the old clay, and the surrounds needed a good tidy.

Merle has been an advocate of two theories: to make money some needs to be spent, and, if a club is made attractive, it will attract people to use it. So the Committee set about cutting back overgrown bushes and planting gardens.

For some time Merle took on the role of Membership Secretary as well.

The stalwarts carried on for a number of years and then the theories became reality. The finances were better each year, the Club was looking more and more attractive with six modgrass and two classic clay courts surrounded by gardens and, younger people, willing to take a part in the management of the Club, were attracted and stayed: result – the vibrant, active, busy and beautiful club we have today.


Merle was Treasurer of the Club for 13 years.

Julie Howe

Julie has been a member of Melba Tennis Club since soon after its foundation. In that time she has held committee positions of Secretary, President & currently Membership Secretary. Julie is also on the Tennis Veterans ACT committee, organising social events.

Julie is an active member playing both pennant & social tennis.

It has been wonderful to see how the club has grown over the years from 4 clay courts in the early days to a wonderful complex of 8 courts with well maintained grounds, a credit to the past and present committee and volunteers. The club continues to grow with increasing memberships and a large junior membership.

It has been a pleasure to be on the hard working committee and to be involved in many of the fund raising events that have enabled the club to grow to what it is today.

Barbara Mapley

Barbara's family joined Melba Tennis Club soon after foundation. Barbara was acting membership secretary for a short while during the early 1990s and she has been on the Committee since 1995, as secretary for 14 years and then as Club Captain.

We have all seen MTC grow into the large and vibrant Club that it is today.

Anna Byrce

I joined the Melba Tennis Club in the early 70s as a social player on Sunday afternoons (mixed social), and what fun it was! 4 courts full with others waiting! I graduated to become a Pennant player in the lower grades, playing on Saturday afternoons and on week nights. I spent some time as Junior Convener when both my children became involved with pennants. I also served as Secretary for one or two terms until I took up full time work with the Public Service.

On my retirement from full time employment, in 2000, I took over as Ladies' convenor, and continued in that position until 2012, although I am still involved with the Thursday group and help out when I can. I also resurrected the Wednesday Night Social shortly after I took over the Ladies' Social in the early 2000s. There were times when my husband, Brock, was a Committee member and I was involved in assisting him when he was Membership Secretary and again in his time as Vice President.

I hope I will continue my association with the club for a long time to come, and rejoice at the success the Club is now enjoying, due to a dedicated committee.

Carol Batten

My love of the game of tennis started whilst at school, when I played the part of a ball-boy for my best friend who was a talented tennis player. As a teenager, I played social tennis. My interest continued with my children joining Melba Tennis Club and playing in pennant teams for Melba.

In the 1998-99 financial year I undertook the role of Court Hire Secretary and have continued in that position till the present day (2017 .....). Days such as National Veterans' Week and the indigenous tennis "Come and Try Day" with Evonne Goolagong make it a joy to be involved with Melba tennis Club.