Since 1997 the AFL Canberra League have created a number of awards that recognise the achievement of umpires from the Canberra region and scholarships to promote further skill development.
Bird and Stirling Award
This has been awarded since 1997 to the First Grade Men's Field Umpire who has been voted as the best umpire during that season.
In 1997 local company Bird and Stirling offered to sponsor an award for the Field Umpire who was named as the Best Umpire by the coaches of the competition's senior teams. This award is determined by a 3, 2, 1 voting system performed by each Club's First Grade Men's coach at the conclusion of the season.
BIRD & STIRLING AWARD
Dom de Carvalho
Ray Chamberlain Emerging Umpire Award
This has been awarded since 2019 to an umpire who has shown great potential throughout the season to further their umpiring into senior football.Ray commenced his umpiring career in Canberra in 1994 and he umpired 93 games, including 34 First Grade Men's matches, up until the end of the 1998 Season. To further his umpiring career he umpired in AFL Sydney in 1999, and was subsequently promoted to the VFL list and relocated to Melbourne in 2000. He was elevated to the AFL National Panel in 2004. Ray was the first umpire who started their umpiring career in Canberra to umpire an AFL Grand Final. To the end of the 2021 AFL Season Ray had umpired 354 matches including 3 Grand Finals (2010, including the replay, and 2019).
EMERGING UMPIRE AWARD
Rebecca Goddard Award
This has been awarded since 2015 to an umpire who has consistently gone above and beyond throughout the season.
Rebecca commenced her umpiring career in 1999 and umpired 190 matches including 14 in First Grade Men's. In 2009 she became the first female Field Umpire to officiate in a State League match. She also had both a successful playing and coaching career across multiple AFL Canberra clubs. In 2017 she was appointed as the first coach of the Adelaide Crows AFLW team and coached them to the inaugural AFLW Premiership. Expanding her coaching resume she was an Assistant Coach of the UC Capitals in the WNBL in 2018/19 when they won the championship. Rebecca was appointed as the inaugural coach of the Hawthorn AFLW team in 2022/23. Bec is a Life Member of our Association and was awarded an OAM in 2021.
REBECCA GODDARD AWARD
Rusty Taylor Scholarship
This has been awarded since 2013 to an umpire who has shown hard work, dedication and commitment to further their skills as an umpire and shows the potential to reach a higher level of football.
Rusty was involved with AFL in Canberra for 40 years as an umpire, coach and administrator. He started his umpiring career in 1969 and continued through until 1993 during which time he umpired 331 matches, 237 in First Grade Men's, including 5 Grand Finals in 1981, 84, 85, 87 and 91. He became a Life Member of our Association in 1980 and won the Golden Whistle as Best Field Umpire in 1985. He was part of the umpiring coaching structure for two decades and had a significant impact on many careers. In 2006 he took up a role with AFL Canberra as an Administrator a job he held until his untimely passing in 2013.
RUSTY TAYLOR SCHOLARSHIP
Junior Umpire Awards
Since 2015 the AFLCUA, in-conjunction with the AFL Canberra league, has awarded a suite of awards to acknowledge the achievements of umpires in the junior competititions: Junior Umpire of The Year, Most Improved Junior Umpire, Best First Year Junior Umpire, and a Most Dedicated Junior Umpire.The recipients of these awards have have been:
JUNIOR UMPIRE OF THE YEAR
MOST IMPROVED JUNIOR UMPIRE
BEST FIRST YEAR JUNIOR UMPIRE
MOST DEDICATED JUNIOR UMPIRE
Taj De Montis
Note: the full list of past recipients is still being reconstructed from various records. If you have have any additional information about previous winners please contact us.