The AFLUA has welcomed the appointment of Stephen McBurney to the role of Head of Umpiring. McBurney brings with him a wealth of umpiring experience having umpired 401 games from 1995 to 2013. More recently he was Australian Building and Construction Commissioner from 2018-2023.

AFLUA CEO Rob Kerr said ‘Since his retirement from umpiring Stephen has continued to be an advocate for the development of umpiring. To have someone with both his umpiring experience and professional experience take on this role can only be a positive. I’ve had several interactions with Steve since I joined the AFLUA, and indeed have sat on AFL committees with him in the past and I’ve always been impressed with his clear thinking and considered approach. He will need that as there are many challenges facing umpiring at all levels and the AFLUA will continue to advocate for improvements, especially with respect to facilities which, for umpires, are not aligned with a high performance environment.’

The role of Head of Umpiring will manage the AFL’s umpire development pathways ranging from elite AFL and AFLW level officiating, to the under-18 programs, while also staying connected to community umpiring. The role also has responsibility for leading the AFL’s umpiring department as well as managing the Arc.

Kerr thanked Lisa Lawry who has recently moved from Head of Umpiring into the newly created role of Projects and Women in Umpiring Lead. ‘Lisa has displayed great care and empathy for the umpiring community. We successfully negotiated a CBA and as well as improving terms and conditions Lisa did a great deal to ensure umpires received appropriate recognition at events such as the All-Australian Awards. She should be pleased with what she achieved in her tenure. She has equally significant challenges now with growing the involvement of women in umpiring and leading the project on facilities.’


McBurney will commence his new role in late April.

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