The 2019 Awards afternoon was held at Ikon Park for the second year in a row at the completion of the National Boundary and Goal umpires camp on Sunday 2 February. 106 members, life members and hall of fame umpires joined us for a celebration of the 2019 season.
Our three most prestigious award winners, by chance were also the All Australian umpires. Shaun Ryan was the winner of the Bishop Shield for the second year in a row and for the third time in his career. Shaun is a born leader and one of our most experienced umpires. He works consistently with our younger umpires to assist bringing them through.
Boundary umpire, Matt Tomkins, won his first Murray Williams Shield. Voters by his peers as the most successful boundary umpire both on and off the field. 2018 winner, Nathan Doig remarked in handing the medal to Matt that he has grown in the ranks and now is a true leader on and off the field.
Steve Piperno received his first, Leigh Keen Shield as the best goal umpire. Steve has been on the goal umpires leadership group and worked on the AFLUA strategic plan. He also umpired his second grand final. In presenting his own award, Leigh Keen said it was a privilege to present the award to Steve as he had mentored Steve for many years through the VFL system and he had learned his lessons well.
Our best first or second year trophies were won by, Cameron Dore, Pat Dineen and for the second year in a row, Sam Walsh. Pat Dineen, winner of the Bill Sutton Award was a little taken a back by Bill’s presentation when he clearly suggested that nothing short of the 2020 grand final would be acceptable as a winner of his award. It was great to have Val Pratt present the Brian Pratt medallion to Sam Walsh who now has back to back Pratt medals. While Cameron Dore was not present to receive his medallion, Nathan Williamson spoke about Cameron believing him to be one of the hardest workers on and off the track as a young field umpire. Nathan believes his late arrival to umpiring and his growth as a player has made the difference.