Female Umpires Impressing at the Top Level

This season across New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) we have seen a rapid increase in the number of female umpires who have been shining in the top grade of their local competitions. 

Field umpires, Zali Mertens and Lillian Joy are examples of umpires who have reached the top level in their local competitions, as both umpires made their Men’s Premier Division debuts this season; Zali in Sydney and Lillian in the South Coast. 

These umpires are just two of the multiple female umpires who have made it to the top grade in their local competition statewide, with various other umpires either breaking into or continuing their form in the top flight.

    • Alysha Ramsay (AFL Sydney)
    • Angela Vassallo (AFL Sydney)
    • Zali Mertans (AFL Hunter Central Coast)
    • Lillian Joy (AFL South Coast)
    • Amanda Guthrie (AFL North Coast)
    • Jessica Barnes (AFL Hunter Central Coast)
    • Sarah-Jane Jameson (AFL Riverina)
    • Jeni Button (AFL Sydney)
    • Bonnie Swan (AFL Hunter Central Coast)
    • Emily Stavropolous (AFL Sydney)
    • Emma Loaney (AFL Canberra)
    • Grace Lowe (AFL Canberra)
    • Sam Green (AFL South Coast)
    • Darcy Weber (AFL South Coast)
    • Lauren White (AFL South Coast)

This rise in female umpiring talent comes due to the increase in female participation in umpiring across the state as well as the opportunities and coaching the AFL has provided umpires with, to assist in and further progress the standard of their officiating. 

The female umpiring numbers have increased by 48 over the last year from 175 umpires officiating across the state in 2022, compared to a total of 223 umpires in 2023.

The representation of women and girls amongst field, boundary and goal umpires in NSW and the ACT regions is growing and will continue to grow in senior footballing competitions statewide, with the many talents of these officials already on display.