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Hall & Donaldson first female Canberra refs to officiate rep game

Heather Hall and Juliana Donaldson have become the first female Canberra referees to officiate a representative match over the weekend. 

The pair were touch judges for the Tarsha Gale Cup match between the Canberra Raiders and Illawarra Steelers at Raiders Belconnen last Saturday. 

Hall said it was a big moment for her and she was proud to represent Canberra referees.

 “It’s honestly such an honour, and it’s especially great being able to do it with another referee. Not only to do it alone but to do it with Juliana," Hall said.

"It’s so amazing to see how far women have come in rugby league, so it’s a really big honour."

Hall started refereeing at 14 years-old, with officiating running in the family. 

"My dad is a referee as well, he’s been a referee for 27 years, so it’s something I’ve always grown up with," Hall said.

"As soon as I got to the age I could start refereeing, I started straight away."

Juliana Donaldson
Juliana Donaldson

Donaldson has been refereeing for five years, starting in Townsville in 2018 before moving to Canberra in 2020.

The 17 year-old broke her foot in 2021 and was unable to referee at all last year, so being picked to officiate a rep game so soon was a surprise.

“I was really surprised to be honest because I didn’t ref last year. It’s a really big thing for me as well because I come from Townsville so I just always thought I would be wearing a Queensland jersey but I’m just really happy that I’m here representing Canberra and with Heather as well, it’s just really nice to be here," Donaldson said.

If you are interested in becoming a referee this season, contact the Canberra Referees Association on 0410 626 415 or email

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.