At the recent ESFA Referees Branch AGM, Life Membership was awarded to arguably one of our longest serving referees, Graeme Turner.
Graeme commenced his refereeing career in the Eastern Suburbs in 1975.
His qualifications grew quickly with the accreditations of Class 4 in 1975, Class 3 in 1978, Class 2 in 1982 and class 1 in 1989 under the old soccer referee qualifications. In 2005, Graham became a level 3 referee under the current accreditation system and in 2019 sat the theory component of FFA Level 2.
Graeme assisted with junior appointments with the previous Eastern Suburbs referees Branch and was occasionally treasurer of the Branch during the 1980’s.
Graeme was officially Treasurer of the previous referees Association in the Eastern Suburbs from 1990 to 2008 and became a course presenter from 1990 to 2008. In 2001 he was made a Life Member of the previous Referees Association.
From 2009, Graeme has consistently registered with the ESFA Referees Branch and refereed on the parks of ESFA regularly since then. He has also assessed and mentored many referees in this period. His willingness to continually assist is second to none.
We asked Graeme some of his favourite memories in the decades of his commitment to the Eastern Suburbs and Graeme advised he enjoyed working as a team with the younger referees when driving with them to do 4 and 5 youth league matches on Saturdays at the various grounds from Leichhardt to Canterbury to Sutherland, back in the day.
Graeme also told us that officiating an All Age semi-final at Queens Park in a roaring westerly gale, with the entire match stuck on the eastern side of the pitch was a memory he won’t forget. Graeme’s paperwork after the match, blew through Queens Park and was only retrieved when the papers became caught in the bushes at Carrington Road!
Graeme’s achievements and contribution to refereeing in ESFA is acknowledged, appreciated and recognized.
We know Graeme will continue to work with the referees and impart all his knowledge and assist greatly with the retainment and education of our junior referees.
We congratulate Graeme on his Life Membership of the ESFA Referees Branch.