Nominations for the Jim Healy Memorial Trophy have now closed, and the nominees are found below in no particular order. To vote, members must submit their nominee vote by email to the ACTRRA Patron, Mr Peter Lawler, at email@example.com by 1700 Friday 03 Sep 21. Voting is limited to one vote per member.
As a reminder to members, The Jim Healy Memorial is awarded annually to a member of the ACTRRA who by their loyalty, dedication and approach to refereeing, work in the Association, and relations with the ACT Rugby Union and affiliated referee associations has more than any other member assisted the Association in achieving the objectives of the Association during the year
The 2021 Nominees are ( in no particular order)
Geoff ‘Buck’ Rodgers
Affectionately known as Buck, Geoff Rodgers has dedicated significant expertise, experience, passion and time into the redevelopment of ACTRRAs electronic records, our outward facing social media presence, our member focused website, and visual coaching resources including the curation of a dedicated YouTube channel. Buck's dedication to the electronic arts has enhanced ACTRRAs online presence and brand, facilitated collective education, and strengthened our corporate governance.
Additionally, at very short notice, Buck ensured that the conduct of the Southern State Championships was as painless as possible for match officials when he identified a clear coordination vacuum that could have had disastrous consequences including wholesale levels of inappropriately appointed matches. Buck not only interfaced between the organisers and the available match official pool, he made sure that each game was appropriately appointed, that referee welfare was provided for, and the retrospective payment of the match officials occurred. Because of Buck's willingness to step forward, ACTRRAs reputation across all Southern States stakeholders, including Brumbies and the ACTJRU, was greatly enhanced.
Finally, Buck would compete strongly for miles travelled in that despite his desire and capability to referee at higher levels in Canberra, he can always be relied upon, without complaint, to travel to the farthest districts in support of Country Rugby.
Geoff seeks to remain in the background, but will always support the association however he can, whether that be through the curation of our socials, supporting junior carnivals, or doing the hard Second Division miles.
Denis Hughes sought to reinvigorate the role of Referee Development Officer for 2021. He proposed the role of the RDO to be to assist the association in recruiting, training and retaining referees, to be a point of contact for the members and external organisations, all so that we can better align efforts in advancing match official standards and thus making the role of refereeing in the ACT region more fulfilling and rewarding for all concerned. Denis’ proposal was readily accepted and he commenced the role this year. It is argued that Denis has achieved outstanding results for our association through his own initiative, passion, commitment, and interpersonal skills.
He has met many challenges and overcome most. He has conducted eight Referee Ready sessions, including three in Goulburn, where he has cumulatively trained over 80 recruits. He contributed to the preparation and delivery of online education sessions to both the association and the referee ready cohorts. He participated in the Eagles club session. He has reviewed over 40 Red Card reports. Denis has had almost daily interactions with Brumbies and the ACTJRU to address their concerns, and to champion our challenges. His greatest success is arguably having Junior appointments handed over to the Brumbies while at the same time having it recognised that referees are not an afterthought. This is a seismic change in attitude from outside the association and his contribution in achieving this outcome cannot be understated.
Denis has found ways to ensure that the mechanisms for the appointment of games that match referees skill, developmental requirements, and ambition are exploited even when hamstrung by the rushed introduction into service of the underwhelming Rugby Xplorer appointment system. Denis has achieved this in light of sub-standard technology, uncertain fixtures, and all the personalities that contribute to the unique fabric of Rugby in Canberra.
The RDO is a thankless task with unending challenges met by Denis’ continuous solutions. Through his remarkable and noteworthy efforts, and superior interpersonal skills, Denis has markedly advanced our associations recruiting, training and retention efforts and ensured that we all get as much satisfaction as we do from our part of the Game they Play in Heaven.
James Williamson has demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to the development, welfare, and inclusion of the Junior members of our association. Refereeing is sometimes an isolating experience, particularly when new to the role or in unfamiliar surroundings. James recognises this and takes proactive and tangible steps to lessen these feelings of trepidation or hesitancy.
James is a well known and familiar sight around the junior grounds. More often than not, he will spend an entire day at a particular school or club. He will referee multiple games, whether appointed or otherwise to ensure that every participant has the best experience possible. But more importantly, when not in the centre, James will be on the side of a field talking with a junior referee preparing them for their game, supporting them with law interpretations, guiding their on field positioning and generally supporting their ability to give their best performance on the paddock. James is both a prolific coach and genuine mentor to a generation of juniors. He cares about our juniors and places as much effort into our youngest and most inexperienced referee as anyone else. Through his efforts and support of grassroots referees can the future of our association be assured.
When Junior matches are not being played, James can always be relied upon to support bush rugby.
James’ contribution to the advancement of refereeing in the Canberra region is unseen by most, but to the Juniors that he has supported over the last several years it has been invaluable. He has supported the association's recruitment and retention efforts by ensuring that our juniors get as much support as possible. It is after all, these Referees who will be the Senior A Panel referees of the future.
Nathan Mass is a familiar face to most in the Association due to continuous off field support to referees through providing advice, mentorship, guidance, friendship, and of course kit! Whether appointed or not, Nathan is most willing to assist another referee in developing their skills and abilities, knowledge of the law, and improve situational understanding.
Nathan's attitude to feedback and referee development has allowed members of the association to feel comfortable to talk frankly and openly about improving individual refereeing.
It will come as no surprise to most that conducting the Presentation Luncheon on Sunday 5 September is proving untenable. Should the ACT lockdown be lifted on 2 September, one business day is not sufficient to prepare for a luncheon of 50-80 people.
The executive has therefore made the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone pending the decision from Brumbies on what they are doing with the senior season. There are two likely outcomes, as follows:
1. Delay the recommencement of the season. In this case we will seek to reschedule the presentation luncheon to align with the major semifinals.
2. Abandon the season. In this case, 2021 Grand Final appointments will not be made, nor announced. Other award winners and milestones will be recognised at a future date, likely the 2022 preseason seminar.
An announcement from Brumbies is expected over the coming days, the executive will seek to keep you as informed as possible, and what any decision means for referees.
On behalf of the ACTRRA Committee, Thanks to all members who refereed in the junior competitions
STATEMENT FROM MARTIN SULLIVAN, PRESIDENT ACTJRU
Regrettably, but not unsurprisingly, the ACT Junior Rugby Union has made the difficult decision to call an end to the 2021 season of junior rugby and cancel the Finals series and the Girls Rugby Gala event in September.
In reaching our decision, the ACTJRU considered its obligations to comply with the directions of the ACT Government as well as our broader obligation to provide participants with a safe environment in which to play rugby.
Even if lockdown was to be lifted on 2 September, there are a number of challenges that would prevent a finals series to be completed, such as the subsequent time available to prepare and plan for both a Finals series and the Girls Rugby Gala event, and the safety of the participants.
This means teams end the 2021 season in their position on the Competition Ladder with games played up to and including Round 11 of competition.
We note that other future representative events, including the national program managed by Rugby Australia and the Under 15’s fixture in Albury arranged by Brumbies Rugby, have also been cancelled.
The ACTJRU would like to thank all the volunteers, players, parents and sponsors for their commitment and support of our great game during the interrupted 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The ACTJRU urges everyone to remain safe and follow the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the ACT Government.
It is a most unfortunate situation that the players, coaches and families will miss the opportunity to complete the end of the rugby season in the traditional way, but the health and safety of our community is paramount.
Yours in Rugby,
ACT Junior Rugby Union
The ACTRRA End of Season Presentation Luncheon will occur on Sunday 5th September 2021 commencing at 1230pm @ The RUC. All members (juniors and seniors are highly encouraged), associates, friends, families, and partners are welcome to join us in celebrating the season, acknowledge the significant contributions of so many within our association, and participate in the announcement of Senior Grand Final Referees.
Once the final arrangements have been confirmed over the coming weeks an Eventbrite link will be forwarded to you to secure your seats. But for now, Save the Date!
Vice President / Welfare
New meeting link for Monday due to logistic issues for the 12 Jul Dev night and General Meeting
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Jack will be away on July the 20th and will not be able to take the Tuesday ACTRRA training session.
Anyone want to fill as an option for the 20th?
Dear ACTRRA Members,
A Development night will be held on Monday 12 July at 6pm via Zoom, followed by a short General Meeting. Unfortunately, with the immediate uncertainties we cannot meet face to face. Details of a Zoom Link have been sent to you via email.
All members, particularly those refereeing in our junior ranks are encouraged to attend as this will assist you in likely appointments as an AR, particularly during finals at the end of the season. We will have presentations from some of our senior referees and from our National Manager and Super Rugby Ref, Graham Cooper.
The agenda for the General Meeting is as follows:
2. President's report
3. Treasurer's report
4. Chair, Coaching and Grading report
5. Referee Development Officer's report
6. Welfare Officer's report
7. Other business
The ACTRRA Presidents Newsletter for June 2021 can be found here.
Super W Round 1 Brumbies v Rebels TO6:.
L to R - Jo Brinkley, #6, David Murphy, #5, Amy Kilmistyer, #3
Madeline Putz, #1, Petrus Van Asweger, #2 , Sam Whittle, #4