Noel Bissett OAM – Associate Member

Noel Bissett OAM was the first Canberra-based referee to control first grade in the NSW Rugby League competition and he was a pioneer of the video referee system. He controlled many international matches, refereed 275 country first grade matches, 103 NSWRL matches and a record 11 local First Grade Grand Finals.

As Referees Coach, he revolutionised local referee ranks, introducing coaching and training while compiling the first ever training manual which recognised the central role that referees played in the game.  Both the NSW and Australian Rugby League capitalised on Noel’s skills in training referees and touch judges for over 25 years.

Serving on the Canberra Region Rugby League Committee from 1995 to 2005, Noel became Chairman in 2006, a position from which he retired in 2018. In this role he has helped usher in new formats for younger participants and has overseen a rise in female engagement and participation across tag and tackle.

He has been awarded the NSWRL Denis Braybrook Memorial Award for services to the game, with local referees awarded the Noel Bissett Trophy for Most Outstanding Referee and the Noel Bissett Medal for the Controlling Referee of the local First Grade Grand Final.

Noel has committed more than 50 years to the sport he loves. The extent of this contribution is reflected through his five Life Memberships including to the Raiders and the Canberra, NSW and Australian Rugby League Referees Associations, and now, his induction into the ACT Sport Hall of Fame.