General Meeting 7th September 2015

Minutes of the General Meeting 7th September 2015






6.35 p.m


Blueberry Hill Room, Canterbury Leagues Club


As per Attendance Sheets ( 60 in attendance)


Grant Atkins, Patrick Mackey, Peter Digby, Daniel Luttringer , Brien Gately, Steve. Clapson, Shane Charman,,Rod Cranston, Jason Robinson, Phil.Cooley, Steve Betts,, Scot Murray.


Todd Greenberg (NRL), Tony Archer NRL) , Barry Mather( NSWRL), Yvette Downey (NSWRL).

Minutes and Actions of this Meeting

Chairman Paul Simpkins declared the meeting opened at6.35 p.m and called on all present to observe one minutes silence in respect for the passing of Diana Danks, wife of Tony Danks, Noel McAlister (Graded Number 636), Noel Bissett’s ( Graded Number798) , Flora Grono , wife of Bill Grono ( Graded Number 595). Marjorie Winspear , mother of Cliff Haynes ( Graded Number 759) and Rita Garwood , mother of Bob Garwood ( Graded Number 735),

Acceptance of Apologies. Moved, G.Jankowski Seconded. B.Barry Carried.

Suspension of Standing Orders Moved M.Dunn, Seconded B.Barry . Carried.

Chairman introduced Todd Greenberg, NRL Football manager, who addressed the meeting on the work under way at the NRL that includes (i) a BLUEPRINT that focuses on Elite Referees such that in 2016 the NRL will provide World Class Pathways and Structures for referees.(ii) Work on Elite Performance through the development of a Central Command Centre. (iii) The Command Centres Focus will be on (a) Accuracy in Decision Making (b) Efficiency in Decision Making (c) Consistency in Decision making (d) Transparency in Decision making.

THE OBJECTIVES are (i) more game continuity (ii) Less collision injuries (iii) More expansive and unpredictable play.

HOW can these objectives be achieved?

i)                 Lower Interchange that is already in place.

ii)                Shot Clock Technology. Trials have been conducted.

iii)              Central Command Centre. Trials have been conducted.

EFFECT The ball will be in play for 55 minutes in a game as opposed to the current 53 minutes. By comparison, the ball is in play in a game of Super Rugby for just 22 minutes.

Reduction of referrals to the Video Referee. Two years ago it was 32% of decisions. Now 45%.i.e 1 in 2 tries is referred .There has been a 2% error rate in the Video Box. The Trials conducted halved the decision time from 77 seconds to 35 seconds.

TONY ARCHER took up his position in 2012 with 6 staff .He now has 15 that provide much greater support and assistance to the Elite referees. He said there is a need to widen the recruitment pathway and talent base. The introduction of PROZONE has allowed him to compare Qld referees with NSW referees.The greatest feature of Prozone is that it allows for quicker coaching. Currently referees make 68-75 errors per round which is just 2-3% of all the decisions made . The system also allows for a statistical analysis of games to be provided to Clubs

Tony said the Games Culture and leadership is being addressed and a Pledge being developed for players that covers on field and off field behaviour.

With the demise of the NYO Competition at the end of 2016 he is hoping to recruit some of the players affected and fast track them through a referee’s programme. At the same time, a clear pathway to the NRL will be spelt out.

Todd Greenberg thanked the Association for the opportunity to address the meeting giving an assurance that where referees were left out of change conversations in the past, he is working to ensure that referees are made to feel an important part of the Rugby League family.


Moved B.Lynch, seconded D,Briscoe that Standing Orders be resumed. Carried.


Adoption of Previous Minutes. Moved T Danks, Seconded M. Damaso. Carried


Business Arising from Previous Minutes .

  1. The 2016 Budget and Memorandum of Understanding for 2015-2017 was submitted to the NSWRL on the 2nd August and followed up with a meeting involving P. Simpkins, F.Leonard J.Oliveira and M.Hewitt.on the 28th August. Meeting outcome can be reported upon by the Chairman or Director of Finance or both.
  2. It is obvious that a successful outcome arose from an approach to George Peponis to conduct General Meetings and the Annual general meetings on these premises at no charge to the Association.
  3. The response to the invitations to the Life members luncheon is a little slow. A reminder was sent to all Life Members today.
  4. The Referees’ Bowls Day was a great success with our Chairman and Director of Referee Development participating.
  5. Referee Martin Jones from Canberra, a Junior Representative Squad member, has built on his appointment to the SG Ball Final and the National Club Interstate Under 18 Competition with appointments to the Canberra and District Rugby League Major Semi-Final, the Preliminary Final and the Grand Final played yesterday and to the Final of the National Schoolboy Cup Competition to be played on the 16th September, a TV Game.
  6. New Zealand referees officiating in the NRL and NSW Cup Competitions have paid a fee of $100 and $50 respectively and the Board has made them Honorary Members of the Association for as long as they are active in these competitions.
  7. The first of the Referee Exchange programs, a joint initiative between the NRL and the NSWRLRA, was conducted with Victorian and Northern Territory referees on the week-end of the 24th-26th July and has been hailed a great success due largely to the efforts of Gary Haines and Daniel Luttringer who went to Melbourne and Ken McNaught and Jake Sutherland who travelled to Darwin. Over the same week-end the Cronulla Association conducted an exchange with Adelaide referees which was       funded by the NRL. Brad Levy is keen to expand the programme in 2016 into Perth and Sunraysia.
  8. A protocol for visits to Country Carnivals and Country Championships by NSWRL Referee coaches has been established following the Executive Officer’s attendance at the CRLRA General meeting at Penrith on the 4th July.
  9. Peter Filmer has completed the Strategic management Plan and Matt Hewitt has revised Pillar 3 to make it relevant to the current NSWRLRA relationship with the NSWRL Referee Coaching and Development Unit.
  10. All Active member Fees have been collected where they apply.
  11. A slight change will be made to NSWRL Referee Coaching structure in 2016
  12. Referees selected for National u/12 , U/15 and U 18 Championships brought credit to themselves and their District and NSW Associations
  13. Chairman’s meeting with representatives of the NRL led to the invitation to Todd Greenberg to address tonight’s meeting.
  14. Reply received from Tod Greenberg as to why State Referees’ Association must Affiliate with their own State Companies.
  15. There were four nominations received for the George and Amy Hansen Trophy by the Board which is now in the process of electing the winner for 2015. .

Confirmation of Business Arising. Moved B.Barry, Seconded. B.Ruttle. Carried.  

Board Minutes Summaries from 30.07.15 and 27.08.15 were tabled.

  1. Questions. Nil

ADOPTION OF BOARD MINUTES’ SUMMARIES. Moved D.Briscoe , Seconded B.Barry. Carried.

Executive Officer: Mr Frank Leonard



Due Date

  • Correspondence In





  • Correspondence Out
  • Acceptance of Correspondence Moved M.Dunn, Seconded P.Kalina   CARRIED
  • Attendances


















  • Meeting Venue






  • Brad Fittler Medal







  • Revised Penrith Association Constitution




  • Special Resolution




  • 2016 Budget and Memorandum of Understanding



  • Annual Report

Items 7615 to 9915 were tabled.

9715 Stan Watson asked for details re the suspension of Najy Naijar (Parramatta DRLRA). Information supplied by F.Leonard and D.Keen.

Items1574 to 1590 were tabled



Played in the Bob Styles Memorial Bowls Day at Engadine on the 25th July.

Co-ordinated referees on six grounds at the All Schools Carnival over three days and welcomed all Country , New Zealand and Interstate referees at a dinner funded by the Association on the Tuesday evening of the three day Carnival.

Attended the funerals of Diana Danks and Warren Wynn ( Illawarra). Forwarded letters of condolence to Noel Bissett, and Chris Nightingale both from Canberra whose mothers-in-law passed away.

Attended Partners of Deceased Graded Members’ luncheon.

Sought and obtained an alternative venue for General and Annual General meetings through Dr George Peponis who is Chairman of the NSWRL and Chairman of Canterbury leagues Club Club.

Conducted a ballot of Graded Squad members to select six to represent the Association at the Brad Fittler Medal presentation where Liam Nicolls will receive the Senior Referee Award for the third year in succession and Martin Jones his second.

Read and approved the Penrith DRLRA revised Constitution as meeting the requirement of the Department of Fair Trading’s Model Constitution.

Sought and gained approval from the NSWRL to put a Special Resolution relating to our own Constitution at this meeting.

Attended Meeting with the NSWRL re the 2016 Budget and the 2015-17 Memorandum of Understanding.

Provided Directors and others with a leadership role with a Timetable for the completion of the Annual Report.



Director of Referee Development : Mr Matthew Hewitt



Due Date

  • Attendances



  • Amendment of Pillar 3 in the Strategic Management Plan



  • Meeting with T.Danks





  • Video Sessions with selected referees to improve their perception of themselves as a referee.
  • DVD Reviews to be forwarded to District Associations via technology being used by P.Kalina.

Attended Balmain Training Session and Cronulla Meeting where I made the presentation of Grand Final Jerseys

Amended Strategic Management Plan’s Pillar 3 to reflect relationship between NSWRL Referee Coaching and Development Unit and the Association.

Spoke to T.Danks re 2016. Asked if Video review Sessions could coincide with General meetings.

Attended Budget Meeting with the NSWRL.

Employed a Video Cameraman Man to video referees targeted by S.Clapson.

With P.Kalina’s assistance, Districts can pull down files from DVD Reviews for Coaching purposes.









Director of Finance : Mr Jimmy Oliveira



Due Date

  • Meeting with the NSWRL

































  • Coaching and Development Grants


  • Directors’ Honorariums Recommendation

Provided feedback from the membership through the M.O.U , the content of which was described as “very acceptable”. Thanked Brendan Lucas and Matt Damaso for their Input. Stated that the meeting looked at a 2%-3% increase in fees and the parity of fees paid across NSW, Qld and CRL competitions. In the   NSW Cup and Qld. State Cup , referees have parity. In Second Tier competitions   NSW referees are better off. The Sydney Shield fees are below those paid in some CRL First Grade and Lower grade competitions. The NSWRL stated that it had not yet received its total payments from the NRL for 2015 and was asked to find a 5% efficiency saving in 2016.For this reason it was stated that it was unlikely that there would be any fee increase in 2016 where 2%-3% was being sought. David Trodden apologised on behalf of the NSWRL Board for the decision. and said a further meeting would be scheduled.

The Director of Finance stated that at the Association level the Board is looking for greater efficiency through elimination of catering at meetings, reduction of Social spending, tightening criteria for Coaching and Development Grants in 2016 and doing what it could to support the NSWRL. in its efficiency drive.

Some District Grants yet to be assessed.

Stated that it reflects the Constitution. For the first time in five years the Director of Finance was recommending a reduction, being 5%.

Question: Doug Wintin asked a question re the efficiency statement stating that if it is applicable to 2016 why is it being applied in 2015? He then stated that this would be followed up in the discussion on Honorariums in General Business




Director of Affiliate Liaison : Mr Doug Keen



Due Date

  • Liaison with District Associations


























  • Attendances





  • Other

Grand Final dates collected. Attended a

number naming Grand Final Referees

.Three All Girl Teams officiated in

Grand Finals. Sought Trainer

requirements for Grand

Finals through John McCormack.

Visited some District training Sessions.

Fifita Brothers incident led to the “Go

Pro” program for referees.

Survey to determine Active members at

the end of the year. Active numbers

increased by almost 5%.

Delegates informed that the 7th

November would be a Junior

Representative and Graded Squad

Training Day.

CMO Course and Level 2 Course

coming up.

District Associations Touch Football

Competition is being resurrected.

Appointed referees to Legends NRL

State Finals over two days and to CHS


Referees sought for Indigenous

Carnival in Dubbo to be staged over the

October long week-end.

North Sydney DRLRA Fund Raiser.

Three Major Carnivals as an employee of the NSWRL…. Ricky Walford Shield, National U/12 Championships in Darwin, NRL Legends Finals.

Discussion with Brad levy re NRAS matters.

Attended Bowls Day on the 23.8.15 . Took Robert Culkin along to catch up with some of our Senior members.

Reported on Issues at Manly and



Director of Member Services: Mr Luke Bugden



Due Date

  • End of Season Training Barbecue



  • Life members’ Luncheon.
  • Annual Golf Day



Open to all members. Retro gear preferred. 17 .9. 2015. Norford Park . 6 p.m

Open to Active referees at no cost.

Other venues considered but too many difficulties that could not be overcome. Venue is Bowral Golf Club on Sunday 29th November.


Director of Marketing & Communication: Mr George Jankowski



Due Date

  • Web-Site




  • Congratulations

Summary of a number of stories relating

to members was provided.

Annual Reports now on the web-site.

31,000 hits on the Web-Site in July.

Congratulated Executive Officer and

his wife, Marie, on reaching their

Golden Wedding Anniversary 28.8.15


Chairman : Mr Paul Simpkins

  • Welcome


  • Board Restructure






  • Sean Fielder



  • Question Without Notice

Yvette Downey, an employee of the NSWRL was welcomed to the meeting.

A proposal has been developed to restructure the Board for 2016. It will require a Special Resolution and a Special General Meeting between this meeting and the Annual General Meeting.

Chairman welcomed Sean’s return to the Association Meeting after a long absence

Martin Ryan asked permission to pose a question without notice to the Chairman which was granted. The Question was . The Strategic Management Plan seeks increases in in referees’ fees but he noted there had been no increase in the previous two years. What plans does the Board have to have fees increased?

The Chairman pointed to a further meeting with the NSWRL yet to be scheduled plus a possible improvement in the financial position of the NSWRL that might see an increase granted for 2016.

Due Date


Acceptance of Report : Moved: M.Dunn , Seconded I.Parnaby. Carried



  1. Bowls Day Report

Ian McCall reported a record attendance at the recent Bowls Day and thanked Brian Barry for his organisation of the day, those present who helped in any way, the Association for its support over the year of $1000 and the attendance of Paul Simpkins and Matt Hewitt.. Arising from the day a donation of $300 was made to the Newcastle Referee Bowlers.

  1. Bryan Gilchrist thanked the Board on behalf of his mother , especially , and the other partners of former Graded members who attended the luncheon held on Saturday 22ndAugust. He reported that his mother thoroughly enjoyed the outing and that all present were very grateful to Greg McCallum for his input where he provided memorabilia on The NSW Leagues Club and Football Programmes that covered the eras in which their deceased husbands were active referees.


       General Business

  1. Special Resolution.The Special Resolution which had been sent to all members as per the requirements of the NSW Department of Fair Trading and endorsed by the NSWRL was put to the meeting. The Resolution read: “To delete from the 2015 Revised Constitution, Object Number 4 which states : – To support the Australian Emerging States Rugby League Referees’ Association.. The Resolution was moved by F.Leonard, seconded by D.Keen and Carried unanimously.
  2. Life Membership.The call was made for nominations for Life Membership which resulted in the following:

Merve Edwards nominated by T.Healy , seconded by P.Filmer

Tony De Las Heras . Nominated by G.Jankowski, seconded by M.Dunn.

Sean Hampstead. Nominated by S.Clark, seconded by D.Keen.

David Jay. Nominated by T.Danks, seconded by M.Dunn.

  1. Honorariums. The Chairman vacated the chair and the meeting elected Doug Wintin to the position of Acting Chairman. The Board of Directors left the room. Upon their return , the Directors were informed that the recommendation from the Director of Finance re Honorariums had been rejected unanimously but that the meeting took into consideration the drive for a 5% efficiency by the NSWRL and had voted to leave Honorariums at the current level.

The Executive Officer thanked the meeting for its deliberation and decision noting that the Directors don’t fill positions to pursue an Honorarium but seek only to serve the membership to the best of their ability.

  1. Ray Warner. Brian Barry reported that Ray Warner was very ill with liver cancer .


            Meeting closed at 8.35 p.m

         Next Meeting: Annual General Meeting. Monday 14th December.2015



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