Dame Anna Wintour Calls For Renaming Of Margaret Court Arena

Vogue chief editor Anna Wintour at the Australian Open in Melbourne

Vogue chief editor Anna Wintour at the Australian Open in Melbourne

On her first visit to Australia, tennis super-fan and editor-in-chief of US Vogue, Anna Wintour, didn't pull any punches when assessing the country's political scene.

The fashion icon also voiced her "alarm" over Prime Minister Scott Morrison's record on LGBTIQ rights, labelling it "backwards in all senses".

"That no one can be expelled from school for their orientation should not require clarification", she said. "A government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted and we are struggling with these issues in the United States as well".

"Intolerance has no place in tennis", said Wintour, echoing sentiments previously expressed about Court, and the arena's name, by athletes including Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.

"This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game", she continued.

The editor in chief of Vogue America called singled out strong Australian sports women Stephanie Gilmore, Samantha Kerr and Evonne Goolagong Cawley in her address at the Australian Open Inspirational Series.

The tennis championship is held at Melbourne Park, which encompasses a sports arena named after Court, a retired tennis player who won multiple Grand Slams in her career before becoming a Christian minister in Perth.

As Australia prepared to vote on the marriage equality referendum in 2017, Court warned that holidays like Easter and Christmas would be cancelled as a effect of same-sex marriage.

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"Margaret Court was a champion on the court but a meeting point for players of all nations, preferences, and backgrounds should celebrate somebody who was a champion off the court as well".

"I was fine until she said lately so many derogatory things about my community. Fortunately, though, opportunities for leadership and change extend beyond the leaders of the moment".

'I see absolutely nothing wrong with it, ' she explained of the campaign which would later cause the US Justice Department to investigate whether it violated child porn laws.

Guests present for Wintour's speech included director Baz Luhrmann, MP Julie Bishop, designer Carla Zampatti and media identity Ita Buttrose.

During a Q&A with Luhrmann and SBS journalist Janice Petersen after the speech, Wintour, who openly supported Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, said she was hopeful for a change of U.S. government at the next election. "We believe that in 2020 there will be change", she said, again to applause.

Personally, though, I have been most inspired over the past year by women, people of colour, and young people being bold, standing up, telling their stories, and outlining paths toward a different future.

For more, watch Wintour's interview above.

Wintour with racing driver Mark Webber and Baz Luhrmann on Rod Laver Arena.

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