Current Female Referees

Amy Perrett (NSW)

Sarah Corrigan (ACT)
Sarah was the first International female referee from Australia

Rachel Horton (QLD)

Chyna Howlett (QLD)

Previous Female Referee's in Australia

Robin Timmins

Robin was the first female referee in Australia.
She still works at NSWRU as the Referee Department administrator.

Roberta Barnett
Roberta refereed at an international level. She also refereed 1st grade in Sydney's premiership tournament, the Shute Shield.


Amy Perrett named Australian Rugby's Referee of the Year


Amy Perrett on the Gold Carpet with partner Craig Vallely at the John Eales Medal

Amy Perrett was last night named Australian Rugby’s Referee of the Year at the John Eales Medal Awards, capping off an incredible year for the 25-year-old Sydneysider.

Perrett represented Australia at the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France in August, impressing so much in the pool stages that she was appointed to referee the World Cup Semi-Final between England and Ireland and the Final between England and Canada.

In March, she also took charge of the Scotland v France fixture in the Women’s Six Nations Championship and was a regular on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series circuit, officiating in all five legs of the 2013/14 season.

This week the IRB announced that Perrett has been selected to referee Ireland versus France in February and England versus France in the Women’s RBS Six Nations 2015.

Perrett, who is the first female referee to receive the Roger Vanderfield Award for Referee of the Year, is quickly establishing herself as one of the top referees in the women’s game.

She made the transition from player to referee in 2003 at just 14 years of age and has risen rapidly through the ranks, making her international debut in the 2012 Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in Hong Kong.

Perrett refereed her first men’s XVs game in this year’s Shute Shield competition in Sydney and has been officiating in the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.

ARU Pathway Service Manager – Officiating, Scott Young, said he had been incredibly impressed by Perrett’s progress this year.

“Amy has gone from strength to strength, making her mark on the international stage with standout performances at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.”

“In 2014, Amy was one of four female referees included on the ARU National Match Officials squad for the first time.

“This is part of a concerted effort to improve the standard of female officiating in Australia, and Amy is living proof of its success.”

The Roger Vanderfield Award for Referee of the Year recognises an Australian Rugby national referee who demonstrates high standards of officiating and is considered to be a role model for the game in Australia.

This year’s award was presented by Mark Hamilton, Director of Sales and Marketing at TNT Express, which has been a proud sponsor of Australian Rugby referees since 2005.

Also nominated for the award were Steve Walsh and Matt O’Brien.

Roger Vanderfield Award – Referee of the Year – Past Winners
2013 Steve Walsh
2012 Steve Walsh
2011 Steve Walsh
2010 Stuart Dickinson
2009 Stuart Dickinson

Australian female officials to make history this weekend


Two females referees will be breaking new ground this weekend when they officiate Premier and First Grade games in Brisbane and Sydney.

In this weekend’s match between Norths and Bond University at Hugh Courtney Oval, history will be made as Rachel Horton becomes the first-ever female referee to officiate a Premier Rugby match in Queensland.

Horton, who began her refereeing career on the Gold Coast in 2009, is looking forward to the opportunity.

“It’s really exciting, I wasn’t expecting to be appointed to a premier grade match this year but I’m excited to break new ground for female referees,” Horton said.

Before her career as a referee, Horton began her Rugby journey playing sevens at university in the United Kingdom, before joining a club to play 15s as a lock and number 8. She also played for the British Army Royal Logistics Corps and for a club team in Canada.

“After being involved in the sport as a player, I thought I’d give refereeing a go,” Horton said.

“I’ve refereed games at the National Women’s Sevens Championships, I’ve officiated challenging men’s games and I’m hoping in the future to travel overseas and build on the opportunities I’ve already had.”

Horton also became the first female referee to officiate a Gold Coast 1st Grade match.

Aside from refereeing, Horton is a Senior Physics and Chemistry teacher at Anglican Church Grammar School and has previously worked as a microbiologist and immunologist. She also has a PhD in microbiology.

Horton hopes to inspire women to challenge themselves and enter into the world of refereeing in Rugby.

“I hope to set an example for younger and newer female referees, I want to show them that they can develop at the same rate and level as their male colleagues,” she said.

Sydney-based Amy Perrett, meanwhile, will today (Saturday) take charge of a Premiership match for the first time. Perrett (24) will make history when she takes charge of the Magners Shute Shield Round 17 match between Sydney University and Gordon.

Just shy of 25 years of age, Perrett started refereeing in 2003 with the Eastwood Refereeing Association, now known as Sydney West Referees. This weekend will add to an already impressive list of accomplishments, which includes being selected for the ARU’s Referee School scholarship in 2005 and again in 2007, as well as officiating

the final of the women’s World Series 7s in Dubai 2012 and again in Moscow 2013. As part of the IRB’s Talent Optimisation Program, Amy was one of a select group of top officials from across the world chosen to attend a week-long camp in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Should Amy go on to the next level in her refereeing career, she would become the first female official to take control of a Super Rugby match. Although female referees have officiated men’s internationals such as the Asian Five Nations and the Under 19 World Championships, no female has ever taken control of a Tier 1 men’s international or a Super Rugby fixture.

Growing up as a dedicated rugby enthusiast, Amy represented the Epping Rams Under 7s before going on to make the Eastwood Under 11s representative side, where she played alongside Waratah and Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley.

Amy attended Hunters Hill High School up until 2005, then finished her education at Cheltenham Girls High in 2007. During this time she was selected for the women’s Sydney North representative side as well as the women’s CHS side. Amy finished her playing career competing for the Parramatta Two Blues.

Australia’s first female rugby referee, Robin Timmins honoured by Queen

Many congratulations to Robin Timmins OAM!!

Royal Nod For First Female Ref
After five decades of service to rugby down under, Australia’s first ever female referee has been honoured by the Queen. Mrs Robin Timmins was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“I heard that I had been nominated but when the confirmation came through last week, I couldn’t really believe it,” said Mrs Timmins.

“When you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing for so long, you don’t expect to be picked out like this. I’m just doing my job really,”

Mrs Timmins receives the honour just shortly after celebrating 45 years of service to the NSW Rugby Union. She also holds the honour of being Australia’s first ever female referee.

A long-time Eastwood rugby supporter, Mr Timmins first started in 1968 with the Sydney Rugby Union and she went on to join Eastwood District Referees Association two years later.

International Referee for a Local Game

Friday, 22 May 2009

International rugby union referee Roberta Barnett will officiate the A Grade match between Teachers West and Brothers this Saturday night. Barnett, who is here at the invitation of the Townsville District Rugby Union Referees Association, steps into the role with several years of senior refereeing experience to her name. She was the first female to officiate an Australian Rugby Shield match, Hong Kong’s men’s premier league and the Shute Shield Premier League in Sydney. Earlier this year she officiated at the Women’s Sevens in Hong Kong.

In 2008 Barnett was selected by the ARU to referee at the Women’s Sevens in Dubai. She also received her first test match appointment refereeing the nail biter between Australia’s Wallaroos and New Zealand’s Black Ferns in Canberra. She lives in Bundaberg and currently commutes to Sydney for match appointments.

Barnett, who took up refereeing to stay involved in Rugby after she stopped playing, believes the friendships she has forged with other referees has been one of the best aspects of staying involved.

"I took up refereeing because I wanted to give something back to the game and the Rugby community. There are some dedicated referees here who turn up to support the game week in and week out. I am honoured to be invited." Barnett said.

A member of the ARU's National Women's Referee Squad since 2005, Barnett is also an ARU Level 3 Referee, Level 2 Assistant Referee and a Level 1 Referee Coach. As well as officiating the A Grade, Barnett will be at Hugh St on Friday and Saturday providing coaching and development to local referees