Elna Joy Cardona CARDONA

Also known as: Joy Cardona

Born: 18/3/1956

Aboriginal or Torrest Stait Islander: Yes

Special Achievements:

Joy Cardona is the first woman in Australian Rules to officiate a representative match. This was the Northern Territory versus Hawthorn in 1991, and she still has the score card! She was the first woman to umpire an Australian Rules game. She became the longest reining Goal Umpire for the Northern Territory doing 152 league games, 3 grand finals and 2 representative  games.

Joy was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Football League Northern Territory. She's only the second woman to be accorded this honour in the history of the Territory.                      

Additional Information:

Joy grew up in Darwin and went to the Catholic School St Mary's. She played a lot of sports in her teenage years, including basketball, hockey, cycling, softball and Australian Rules football. Joy first joined the workforce in 1972 in the Department of Health typing pool. From there she was assigned to various jobs in the Public Service. She worked various hours with the Department of Health, assisting the Matron at the Royal Darwin Hospital and then on the odd days at the Department of Housing and Construction Registry. When Cyclone Tracey hit Darwin, Joy was evacuated to Perth with her eldest daughter where she continued to work until it was safe to return. On her return Joy joined the Northern Territory Police Department as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer, and worked in Communication and the front desk. She then applied for a job at the new NLC Northern Land Council. Joy then went back to the Northern Territory Public Service, and was elected to the Northern Land Council Executive as a Member for Darwin. She worked for the Federal Government of the Department of Employment, Education and Training, delivering programs to remote communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Joy is still into sport as a team manager for the new football team in the Northern Territory Australian Football League, the Tiwi Bombers.

Joy is also one of four Northern Territory National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Gathering Delegate. She is also on the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Data Archive Reference Group for the University of Technology Sydney, and the Secretary for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library Information Research Network.


  • Image - Joy Cardona with Olympic torch and grandson Dylan McGaw

    Image courtesy of Joy Cardona, NPWHF collection