February 22, 2018
Michael Jones

Michael Jones

Constitution of the New South Wales Rugby League Referees' Association Incorporated


To view a copy of our constitution, please click on the link below


NSWRL Referees Association Constitution dated: September 2016

Welcome to the new NRL Digital Network – and the NSWRL’s new-look website and app.

The NRL Network will feature more articles, more videos, more podcasts, more images, more stats and more features on all the digital assets, across not only the NSWRL but all NRL clubs and states.

NSWRL.com.au has been re-designed to give fans a premium experience with a cleaner look and improved navigation. There is a landing page for every NSWRL competition and program, while the NSWRL Match Centre is set to be housed natively at NSWRL.com.au in 2018 – giving fans live scores across eight NSWRL competitions and eight interstate representative fixtures.

Create an NRL Account and your Inside Pass will get you closer to the game. With a single, free account, you can get closer than ever before to the new NRL Digital Network.

In 2018, there will be exclusive Inside Pass features and content available only to My NRL Account holders, including extended match highlights and full match replays of NRL and selected Intrust Super Premiership NSW games.

Alongside the new-look website, an all-new NSWRL App is available on iOS and Android, with an easier interface bringing you news and videos on the go.

Via the app, you’ll also be able to sign up for an NRL Account on the apps to unlock extra features, access more stories and receive special ticketing offers and much more.

As usual, NSWRL.com.au will continue to be your one-stop shop for all NSW competitions – from the grassroots to the elite – and exclusive news related to the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues and Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Interstate Challenge Team.

It all lives here on the new NRL Digital Network.

Stuart Mclean is an active member in the Penrith District Referees Association and this is his story.

My Story

Rowing is my Challenge - 1000km in a year that will change lives, but only with your help!

This challenge is about making a difference. I'm inspired by the work of Luke Priddis Foundation and wanted to support them to continue their work in our local community.

Please help me help them - every cent makes a difference, you can use the 'Give Now' button. The more people that know about the Luke Priddis Foundation, the greater their impact in the world of autism!

Spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot! Difference is Magical!


Dear Members,


  • Penrith Referees Association lost two inaugural distinguished members recently in Jack Harris OAM and Jack Turner
  • Both Bernard Sutton and Tony Archer have been congratulated on their new roles at the NRL
  • Meetings held with Dave Trodden, David Nissen, Cathy Crowe and Mitch Fredricks at NSWRL HQ by way of introduction and committing to monthly catch-ups in 2018 to further galvanize our relationship and to ensure any possible wrinkles are dealt with prior to them becoming issues
  • The transition between EO & Life Member Frank Leonard and myself continues so we are set for 2018 - Frank has been invaluable in his counsel over the past weeks
  • The nswrlra.com website has had a complete refresh and our web technician has already begun designing a new look Annual Report as well as everything in readiness for 2018
  • Comms re a new NSWRLRA logo will be sent soon
  • The BBQ at Milperra after the final training session before Christmas was an outstanding success
  • When the NSWRL are ready there will be an announcement re new look on-field gear and new sponsors plus a change in gear providers
  • An informal NSWRLRA Board meeting was held recently mapping out 2018 with roles and responsibilities for each Director
  • And some terrific news re Sean Hampstead being awarded Life Membership of the NSWRLRA for 2018

That's a full lid.

Happy new year.




December 24, 2017

Dear All,

Please find a very sad message from Gary Haines, Chairman of Penrith Referees Association.

On behalf of the NSWRLRA we have sent our deepest condolences to the family through Gary who is currently overseas.

Michael Jones

Executive Officer


VALE JACK TURNER | It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jack Turner.

Jack was a part of the inaugural Executive of the Penrith Referees Association serving as Senior Vice President. Jack was also heavily involved in the coaching and mentoring of referees.

Jack was inducted as a Life Member into the Association in 1972.

At this very sad time our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Norma and their family.

The funeral for Jack will be held on Friday the 29th of December 2017 at Pine Grove cemetery in the West Chapel commencing at 10:30am.

Canterbury’s Peter Kelly and his effort at the SCG in 1986.

It surely is the quickest send off in the history of rugby league.

Straight from the kickoff, Kelly catches South Sydney winger Ross Harrington high and is fired off by referee Mick Stone.

As the story famously goes, Kelly was dismissed so fast, that he beat the bugler who had played the last post, off the field.

Despite playing all bar one tackle of the game with 12 men, Canterbury beat the Bunnies on that round 8 day in 1986 by 26 points to 2.

1986 was the last time a premiership game was played at the SCG on Anzac Day.

Nothing like being decisive Mick....!

A clip here to see it...was it even 8 seconds? They claim 16 seconds...who's counting - it was the quickest of all time.



John 'Jack' Harris OAM

December 22, 2017

John 'Jack' Harris OAM

5 April 1933 - 14 December 2017

Front and back cover of the Order of Service Booklet for Jack Harris's funeral held yesterday in Worrigee near Nowra.

Present from the NSWRLRA were Frank Leonard, Peter Filmer OAM, Ashley Klein and Merve Edwards.

The Penrith and Parramatta Associations were also represented for Jack was a Life Member of both.

Jack had a reputation for a number of expressions he used when leaving a person or group hence the "See ya' round like a record" on the back page.

Requiescat in pace Jack.


Thank you Frank Leonard for sending this. Greatly appreciated.


TBT - 1993 Grand Final

December 21, 2017

A Throw Back Thursday from the 1993 Winfield Cup Grand Final.

A fine looking team in blue with the clock indicating it was just before kick-off at 3pm.

Brisbane defeated St George 14 - 6

Referee: Greg McCallum

Touch Judges: Brian Bonnie & Martin Weekes

In-Goal Judges: Barry Ruttle & Robert Kiddle

Sydney Football Stadium, 26 September 1993

A ground record crowd for the Sydney Football Stadium of 42,239 was on hand for the match.

A 9 minute YouTube clip of highlights from the game. Just listen to that crowd. Incredible. Simply the Best!




December 20, 2017

Dear Members and all our Affiliates,

A slight tweak to communications commencing from next Tuesday, 26 December 2017 through till 2018 and hopefully ongoing.

'INTOUCH TUESDAYS' will be a weekly wrap of news and information each Tuesday every week sent by email.

If there is any urgency to communicate any updates we will of course communicate immediately through the website nswrlra.com and all comms platforms including email.

If any Member or Affiliate would like stories or comms posted then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. You are most welcome to do so, in fact you are absolutely encouraged.

The 'INTOUCH TUESDAYS' email will be sent post and pre-round so everyone is able to see what's news.

Kind regards,

Michael Jones

Executive Officer - NSWRLRA




Minutes - 2017 AGM

December 19, 2017


 Annual General Meeting

 Meeting Date 11.12.2017

 Venue: Riviera Room, St George League Club

Paul Simpkins in the Chair welcomed all present and declared the meeting open at 6.40 p.m.

A minute’s silence was observed in memory of those who passed away during the year.

Paul McBlane (811)

Life Member Les Samuelson (490)

Aileen Garwood Sister of Life Member Robert Garwood (645)

Susan Jarick Partner of Life Member Brian Bonnie (757)

Stan Bungate Father of Life Member Peter Bungate (736)

Gail Murray, wife of Peter Murray (803)

Betty Norberry wife of Greg Norbery (604)

Elias Constantine Father of Danny Constantine (992)

Anne Kalina mother of Life Member Paul Kalina (825)

M Kendall wife of Barry Kendall (Deceased) (635)

Marie Kelly wife of William Kelly (Deceased) (497)

Gerry Hinds NCRLRA/N.R.A.S Provider and long serving Member of that Association

Helen Ivy Lee mother of Gary “Bing” Lee (818)

June Clapson mother of Life Member, Steve Clapson (822)

Marion Todd mother of Scott (855) President of Balmain Association and former Graded Touch Judge

Rose Elizabeth Cassidy mother of former Graded Member, Michael Cassidy (737) and Grandmother to Adam Cassidy (943)

Irene McFarlane, mother or Ricky McFarlane (Penrith) 899    

John Abbott, former Lower Grade St George referee. Passed away in late September

ATTENDANCE - As per attendance sheets.


16 Life Members

21 Active Members

10 Non Active Members

11 Delegates

1 Honorary Member

1 Junior Member

1 Visitor

G. Jankowski registered as a Life Member and as three Delegates. 

S.Watson registered as a Delegate and an Honorary Member.

Doug Keen registered as a Life Member and a Delegate

All three only counted as three in the total attendance.

A total of 57 in attendance.


Geoff Whiddon (Secretary CRLRA), Luke Bugden, Noel Bissett, Russell Turner, Ian Parnaby, Andrew Wheeler, Darren Gocher, David Abood, Max Dunn, Michael Stone, Tony Danks, Paul Holland, Steve Betts, Steve Clark, John Connor, Tim Robinson, Todd Smith,Tom Cambourn  

Acceptance of Apologies.

Moved Pat Reynolds, Seconded, Brian Barry. Carried


Moved Greg McCallum, Seconded Steve Clapson that the Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting be confirmed and adopted. Carried


The Strategic Management Plan remains on track and the new Board will revisit it early in 2018. The NSWRLA’s place in the game was strengthened in 2017 through the decision to employ four Assistant Coaches funded by the NSWRLA to assist the Affiliated Associations. If the NSWRLRA can make a success of this initiative the NRL has indicated more responsibility for the Coaching and Development of referees will come its way. While all Grants to the Affiliated Associations were paid prior to the end of the Financial Year some Associations were very slow in submitting their invoices.

The Professional Rugby League Referees’ Association came into being during the year and is currently assisting Chris James in his bid for reinstatement or compensation following the conveyance of a decision at the NRL level to terminate his refereeing career over a cup of coffee.

There are some issues with the Governance of some of the Affiliated Associations and is a worrying trend if they are to meet the expectations of the members, the NRL, the NSWRL and the NSWRLRA. This especially applies to the filling of key positions on the Association Boards.

An offer of a rise in Match Fees for the Graded Squad has been made by the NSWRL and after consideration and feedback from the Squad, a response from the NSWRL will be published during the week ending 15th December 2017.

Arising from the poor support for the 2016 Members’ Presentation and Ladies Night the Board decided to suspend holding the function for twelve months.

Following the death of Robert Culkin, Brian Barry was made the Ambassador of the Association but he has declined the offer of a new blazer.

Adoption of Business Arising

Moved B.Barry, Seconded D.Wintin. Carried 


Correspondence In

17134    17.09.17        Sean Hampstead & Andrew Zapantis. Agreeing to be considered for Life Membership.

17136    25.09.17        Mat Damaso. Advising that he did not want to be considered for Life Membership.

17146    20.10.17        Rachel Szymanski ( Events Coordinator) Advising that Danny Robinson CEO of St George Leagues Club has offered the NSWRLRA the Riviera Room for the AGM

17157   12.11.17         Michael Jones. Nomination for position of Executive Officer, 2018

17159   14.11.17         Paul Simpkins. Nominations for Directorships from Faye Lehane, Steve Clapson, Matt Hewitt and Paul Simpkins for 2018

17162    23.11.17        James Vella. Annual Report Invoice  ($1,2,83.70)

                                       Rachel Szymanski (Events Coordinator) Seeking numbers attending the AGM, Run Sheet, Order for Finger food and any other requirements.

 17172   01.12.17        EVENTS ST George Leagues Club. Seeking Order for Convivial and Payment.

 Various 09.12.17      APOLOGIES; From Noel Bissett, Russell Turner, Andrew Wheeler, Ian Parnaby, Andrew Gilchrist, Geoff Whiddon (CRLRA Secretary)

Correspondence Out

10717  17.09.17       Sean Hampstead, Matt Damaso, Merve Edwards, Gary Cook, Andrew Zapantis Requesting permission to consider their nomination for Life Membership at The September Board Meeting as per Clause 2.2.2 of the Constitution. 

11017  29.09.17       Sean Hampstead. Advising that the Board had considered his nomination Life Membership and his name would go forward to the AGM for a decision  by the membership.

11117  29.09.17       Andrew Zapantis Advising that the Board had considered his nomination Life Membership but had decided not to put his name forward to the Annual General meeting at this time.

12316  18.10.17        All Members. The Special Resolution to be presented to the Annual General Meeting for discussion and a decision.

12317  20.10.17        Secretaries/Executive Officers/Delegates of Affiliated Associations. Notice of the NSWRLRA Annual General Meeting.

13317  17.11.17        All Members. Notice of Annual General Meeting including Current Meeting procedure as per the Constitution and the proposed Special Resolution for change and a Notice of Motion re Sub-Committees, as Resolution for change and a Notice of Motion re Sub-Committees, as required by the Constitution

13517  19.11,17       All Members with Internet Access. Electronic Copy of the Annual Report

13617  20.11.17       All Members with Internet Access  2nd  and Final Draft of the Annual Report arising from two minor errors.

14017   21.11.17      William Drury (President, CRLRA) Invitation to attend Annual General Meeting

14117   28.11.17      Seventy two Hard Copies of the Annual Report posted to those not on the Internet and to those who placed an order for same

14          03.12.17      All Members/ All District Associations. Final reminder of Annual General Meeting  to be held on the 11th December  at St George Leagues Club Items were tabled resulting in no discussion.

Acceptance of Correspondence

Moved P. Filmer, Seconded B. Gately. Carried


Paul Simpkins

Thanked the outgoing Board of Directors for their efforts during 2017. Spoke on the changes to Coaching structures and thanked the Assistant Coaches appointed for their input. He stated it was vital for the leaders of the Referees’ Association to work with the various Leagues. He said he believed the NSWRLRA had an excellent relationship with these Leagues at this time. To maintain and build on this the Association needs to stick to its objectives.

The Association had demonstrated that it could cut costs of its operation.

The NSWRL had encouraged the Association to conduct Camps for the Junior Representative Squad and the Graded Squad. The former had been conducted and judged a great success. It was the first step for the Squad to become acquainted with the NSWRLRA

Funding for Affiliated Associations was increased by $30,000. The Bowls, Golf and Touch Football Days had been supported financially and through member presence. 2018 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the NRL. Since our members progress into the NRL it is expected that the NSWRLRA will have some involvement in the celebrations.

The Life Members Luncheon held at the SCG for the past two years will be held there in 2018 . The venue has already been booked. If a Life member is elected at this meeting he will be consulted on the kind of function he would like to have for his Life Membership Presentation.

The NSWRL’s Centre of Excellence is under construction and will be the new home of the NSWRLRA when completed.

The 2018 Board has its first Female Director in Faye Lehane and demonstrates the growing involvement of women in our game. It will be the first time for nine years that the Board will operate without the presence of the Executive Officer, Frank Leonard who has promised to be a sounding board for his replacement, Michael Jones.

In order to tap into their wisdom and experience the Chairman proposes to meet with the Life Members, mid-year.

Adoption of the Report

Moved I. McCall, Seconded P.Kalina. Carried


Adoption of the Annual Report

Moved M.Cecchin, Seconded B.Gilchrist. Carried.

Both spoke of the quality of the Report, the great work done by James Vella in its assembly and of the Executive Officer in collecting and editing material for the Report and his liaison with James to ensure the Report was printed by the due date.


Adoption of the Report

Moved P.Filmer, Seconded B.Gately. Carried

Peter said the position had not changed greatly and whilst the report is in Summary Form the Association is in a strong financial position. He congratulated Darren Gocher on his work as the Director of Finance.

SPECIAL RESOLUTION - The following Special Resolution was moved by Paul Simpkins, seconded by Matthew Hewitt.

“The Board proposes that 3 General meetings and an AGM be held each year. Additional meetings can be held as per the Constitution if required.
General Meetings will be held in March, June, September with the AGM held in December
Each General meeting will be held immediately after a NSWRL coaching session.
All information will be disseminated by email prior to the meeting.
Questions only will form Correspondence and Board reports.
General Business will then be open to the floor.
Urgent matters or items of interest concerning the membership will be communicated by email and social media as they come to hand.
Members not on email / social media may elect to have all meeting information forwarded to them by general mail.

Through the above process the Board believes that the meetings will be conducted in a timely manner. The meetings will be held following League Business (generally a Video session) to eliminate additional time away from family and other commitments. On invitation, Non active members will have the opportunity to sit in and see the Graded Squad's activities and education sessions. Greater interaction between the total membership.


All correspondence and Board members reports to be circulated electronically by the Executive Officer no later than 7 days before the General Meeting.

Any member wishing to read any correspondence or report should seek to have that item emailed to them or may read the item before the commencement of the General meeting.

1. The meeting will commence at the advertised time.

2. Apologies will be encouraged to be sent by email prior to the meeting.
Further apologies will be called for and noted.

3. Motions of condolence
A minute silence will be observed for the passing of members only.
The passing of a spouse, parent or child of a member will be read and sympathy of the NSWRLRA acknowledged (no minute silence).

4. Correspondence
Questions only from emailed documents
Move / Seconder / Carried

5. Board Reports
Questions only from emailed documents
Move / Seconder / Carried

6. Any other Reports?

7. General Business
- Open to the Floor

8. Close

Doug Wintin was then asked to act as Chairman as Paul Simpkins was the mover of the Resolution and Matthew Hewitt seconded it. Paul spoke to the Resolution. Matthew Hewitt seconded stating that technology allows for dissemination of information that used to be the reason for meetings.

Dennis Spagarino asked if any member could ask for a piece of correspondence to be read and was assured in the affirmative. Doug Wintin suggested that voting on the Resolution be in total and the meeting supported this approach. The Resolution was put to the vote and carried unanimously.


All positions declared vacant. D.Wintin nominated by I.McCall, seconded B.Gilchrist as Returning Officer, with the permission of the meeting Bryan Gilchrist and Greg McCallum were appointed scrutineers. Carried.

PATRONS - Not elected. To be elected at March, 2018 Meeting.

1.     Chairman Paul Simpkins Elected unopposed.

2.     Executive Officer Michael Jones Elected unopposed.

3.     Director of Finance Matthew Hewitt Elected unopposed.

4.     Director of Referee Development and Affiliate Liaison Steve Clapson Elected unopposed.

5.     Director of Member Services and Marketing and Communication Faye Lehane Elected unopposed.


1.That members subscriptions be $50 for Five Years or $150 for Life.

2. That Affiliate Associations shall pay an Affiliated Subscription of twenty dollars ($20.) This sum to be deducted from their Administration Grant so that all delegates are financial for the 2018 Annual General meeting.

3. That three (3) General Meetings and an AGM be held each year. Additional Meetings can  be held as per the Constitution as required.

General Meetings will be held in March, June and September with the AGM held in December. Each General meeting will be held immediately after a NSWRL Coaching Session.

All information will be disseminated by e-mail prior to the meeting. Questions only will be accepted from Correspondence and Board Reports.

General Business will then be open to the floor. Urgent matters or items of interest concerning the membership will be communicated By e-mail and Social media as they come to hand.

Members not on e-mail/Social Media may elect to have all meeting information forwarded to them by general mail.


D.Wintin remained in the Chair and called on F.Leonard to move the Notice of Motion

Moved F.Leonard, seconded Greg McCallum that consideration be given to altering Section 3.12 of the Constitution such that “ Sub-committees no longer be established for a full year but formed as described in Section 3.12.2 only when a need arises, that it be chaired by the relevant Director  and its life be terminated when that need is fulfilled.”

“3.12 Sub-Committees”

 3.12  Sub-Committees

 3.12.1      Each Director (other than Chairman and Executive Officer) shall be responsible for overseeing sub-committees for their Directorships. Descriptions of sub-committee roles can be found in 'DESCRIPTION OF DIRECTORS ROLES DOCUMENT '

 3.12.2      The Executive Officer shall forward expressions of interest to all eligible members to apply for a position on a sub-committee as soon as practicable after the Annual General Meeting. The Board shall determine all applications and decide on sub-committee positions. If insufficient applications are received, any vacant positions remaining on Sub­ Committees are taken to be casual vacancies and The Board may appoint a member of The Association to fill the vacancy.

 3.12.3      Each member of a sub-committee is, subject to these rules, to hold the position until the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting following the date of the member's appointment, but is eligible to reapply each year.”

There were two interpretations on this motion. D.Wintin expressed the view that he could find nothing in the Constitution that refereed to a Notice Of Motion but was prepared to have it debated and the voting to be 75% for it if it was to be passed.

F.Leonard stated that Part 5.1 to 5.6 of Standing Orders dealt with a Notice of Motion. He spoke to the Motion giving reasons for moving it and G.McCallum seconded it. The reasons for moving for change was given as the failure of Directors to lead the Sub-Committees and some members being listed on sub-committees for several years, being inactive within the committee, but then using the years spent as being listed  on the sub committee as a criterion for Life Membership

He stated that the Motion should have been a second Special Resolution but he failed to consider it outside the 21 days required for submission to the meeting. He suggested it be the put to the March 2018, General Meeting as a Special Resolution. Moved Paul Kalina, seconded Brien Gately. Carried.


The Chairman stated that five nominations were received for Life Membership at the General Meeting held in September, 2017. The following members were nominated.Sean Hampstead, Matt Damaso, Andrew Zapantis. Gary Cook and Merve Edwards. Sean Hampstead and Andrew Zapantis responded to the e-mail asking if they were prepared to be considered by the Board to have their name go forward to the AGM for consideration by the members present.

Matt Damaso declined the invitation and there were no responses from Gary Cook and Merve Edwards. The Board decided to send only one name forward to the Annual General Meeting being that of Sean Hampstead at its October Meeting for consideration by the members present.

A secret Ballot was conducted where Sean Hampstead received the required 75% of the “YES” vote. The Chairman declared Sean elected a Life Member. Sean’s response was to say thanks to those who supported him. The Chairman indicated that Sean would be consulted as to the kind of Presentation Ceremony he would like to have his Life Membership bestowed upon him.

B.Barry moved that Ballot Papers be destroyed. Seconded P.Filmer. Carried.


Not Completed. To be on the Agenda of the March General meeting.


Doug Keen reported on the condition of John McKeown of the Auckland Referees’ Association, a great friend of many in the NSWRLRA, who had suffered a stroke recently.


Chairman Paul Simpkins presented Frank Leonard with a gift to thank him for his years of service as Executive Officer. Michael Jones displayed a large Farewell slide on the big screen.

Frank responded briefly thanking the Association for the privilege to serve the members and stating that the major reason he put so much time into the position was that he was nominated by Les Matthews a month prior to his death in 2009 and seconded by Dennis Spagarino, the Chairman at the time for whom he had much respect. He reflected on the friendships he had made over the nine years, the experiences he had been afforded through invitations from the ARLRA and the NSWRL and especially in his role as a Match Day Assessor that covered sixteen years and he was pleased to see so many of those he had assessed promoted to higher grades.

He said his retirement ended 47 years involved in refereeing in all of its facets but that he would always be available to provide assistance when invited especially where it involved interpretation and changes to the Constitution.


Life Members seeking the new Lapel Badge, members wanting an Association tie or a Hard Copy of the Annual Report were invited by F.Leonard to see him following the meeting.

GENERAL BUSINESS - Nil. Meeting closed at 7.50pm by Chairman Paul Simpkins.


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