Julia is one of rugby league’s most prominent figures. Over the last four decades she has helped to develop the sport of rugby league from many different perspectives, all of which have promoted and improved the game.
Julia made a huge step for women in the sport when she became the first qualified female match official, pushing against negative voices who questioned a woman’s ability to do the job. Her resilience and determination to overcome all obstacles put in front of her (no changing facilities just one example) ensured that she opened a pathway for other women to follow.
She has championed the girls’ and women’s game, both from within the governing body in various roles, and with other organisations including Her Rugby League Association CIC, for which she is spearheading a project aimed at supporting female players, spectators and volunteers. This project will provide a support network helping women and girls to develop on and off the field through education, information and self improvement workshops.
On top of this she has written a play called ‘Ref’, which charts her challenging and determined life in rugby league, which will no doubt engage and empower women and girls through the accessible and exciting medium of the stage.
Julia’s boundless energy and enthusiasm has made her a leading personality within a male-dominated sport, breaking barriers and opening doors for those who have followed. Her focus, ambition and passion have made her a woman who cannot and will not allow prejudice and traditional gender roles deny females the chance to fulfil their potential. She’s not just a role model, she is an inspiration.