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Australia’s first ever female Rugby Union referee, Robin Timmins, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the IRB Development Award.
Robin travelled from Sydney to Dublin today to accept the award at an event featuring the ‘who’s who’ of international Rugby next Monday 18 November in Dublin during the IRB World Rugby Conference & Exhibition.
The announcement caps off a huge year for Robin after being recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honour List with a 2013 Order of Australia Medal in June.
The IRB Development Award recognises an organisation or individual who has made a significant contribution to the global development of Rugby.
Past IRB Development Award recipients include the South African Rugby Union in 2012, The USA’s Rookie Rugby program in 2011 and Brian O’Shea in 2010, who was Australian Rugby Union’s High Performance Manager and coach of the NSW Waratahs.
Robin will be only the second woman to win the award since Cambodian Federation of Rugby President, Tan Theany accepted the award with Vice President, Philippe Monin in 2003.
Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver said he was delighted to see such a dedicated Australian female personality win the coveted international Rugby award.
“I sincerely would like to congratulate Robin on this fantastic achievement.
“Robin’s dedication is a great example of the amazing work people across Australia do for the development of Rugby and I’m so glad to see her years of work and passion for the game rewarded at this level,” Mr Pulver said.
Robin’s service to the development of Rugby began in 1968 when Sydney Rugby Union employed her as Secretary.
Robin soon developed an interest in refereeing, but was initially told she couldn’t sit for the exam. Robin investigated the constitution and, finding no mention of gender, was allowed to complete the referee’s exam. She passed and effectively became the first active female Rugby referee in Australia.
Robin refereed for many years at different levels of the game and has since immersed herself in all aspects of the game.
Robin is still working in Rugby with more than four decades of continuous employment in numerous roles. She is currently serving as NSW Rugby Union’s Referee Assistant.
Robin will join Rugby royalty at the awards night next Monday with the IRB Hall of Fame induction ceremony taking place alongside the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition for the first time.
Australian Rugby legends, Thomas Lawton Snr., John Thornett, Ken Catchpole, Mark Ella, David Campese and George Gregan will be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame on Monday night alongside Robert Seddon and the 1888 “English” Footballers, David Bedell-Sivright, Bleddyn Williams and Jack Matthews, Ronnie Dawson and Gavin Hastings under the theme of ‘the British & Irish Lions and Australia’.
Held annually, the IRB Awards and IRB Hall of Fame recognise and celebrate those involved at the highest level of international Rugby on and off the field.
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.