A group of Southern Umpires Association (SUA) members have made history as the first ever all-female umpiring panel to adjudicate a final.
Pulling on the umpire’s uniform for Sunday’s Under 19 Peninsula Football League match between Langwarrin and Seaford, the eight female panel included a wealth of umpiring experience spanning four generations.
Manning the goals was two-time Senior Grand Final umpire Emma Young and 43-year-old goal umpire Shelly Thomas whose passion for umpiring has seen her pass on her knowledge to the next wave of community female umpiring stars.
Piloting the action in the centre of the ground were rising field umpires Riplee McLachlan and Ebony Treweek alongside SUA Life Member Tammy Peck, while 14-year-old running sensations Olivia Grcic and Taylah Dilworth and 18-year-old Ebony Hunter managed the boundary.
While other umpiring associations have appointed all-female panels during the home and away season, this is the first time an all-female panel have officiated in a senior final.
AFL Victoria Umpiring Development Manager, Russell O’Toole said the appointment was one which was a turning point for community female umpires.
“The Southern Umpires Association has long been a promoter of women in football with the drive to increase female umpires seeing SUA in the position it was in on the weekend.
“With the introduction of the AFL Women’s League in 2017 and the continued push of women in football, an appointment such as this is a significant sign of the impact it has had at a local level and we hope to see more examples of this in the near future.”
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