Spare a thought tomorrow morning when you wake at 6.30am and turn on your news radio, for Ian “Buzz” Burrows. Ian will have just completed another night shift and will be winding his way home for breakfast and a well earned sleep. “I’m lucky that I can actually sleep during the day time. I am generally in bed by 7am and I will sleep until mid afternoon.”

Ian works for the ABC in the Asia Pacific News Centre as a journalist/producer. It is an editorial position where he writes and produces stories for television, radio and online. Rosters come out monthly and can involve starts anywhere from 4-5am right through to 10pm. For Ian, his preferred shifts are night times or early mornings during the week so he can fit in his training and match commitments.

“Once my roster is out and I know my games, I have to plan ahead to ensure I can get in the required sleep and prepare properly,” explained Ian.  

Ian obviously takes all this in his stride. On Thursday night Ian umpired his 200th AFL game. His games tally includes 23 finals and 5 grand finals.

Work, life balance is critical for this man. He knows only too well the toll night shift can take on your body. “It’s tricky when you go from night shift to day shift, especially if you have spent a lot of time in one mode. It can be hard not having a set routine.” 

“But I don’t see it as too much of a disadvantage when it comes to my umpiring. Because at the end of the day I think success is mostly driven by hard work on the track and in games, which is in my control.”

 Despite the challenges of shift work, Ian says it’s a privilege to be at the ABC in a career he loves. “I’m lucky to work at such a great place, in an exciting and fast-paced environment. And although I work at some odd times, it also means I often have lots of free time in the afternoons when everyone else is working.”

Ian was a member of the AFLUA executive for two years and is now an elected member of the leadership group.  He has a wealth of experience and is a great mentor to many of the young boundary umpires on the list.

Well done Buzz, you do it differently to most — and you are damn good at it.


Pictured: 200 gamer – AFL Boundary Umpire, Ian Burrows


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