This weekend’s AFL Grand Final will boast a double first for Queensland.

Former QUT News student Chelsea Roffey, originally from Mt Gravatt, will take to the field to become the first Queenslander and woman to umpire at the AFL’s biggest match of the year.

Emilie Guillemain reports.


It’s an exciting time for Chelsea Roffey as she prepares for Saturday’s Grand Final.

In June 2004, Ms Roffey umpired her first game between Brisbane and West Coast, and to date she’s refereed a total of 46 AFL matches.

As a former QUT Journalism student, Chelsea is regarded as a dedicated and determined individual.

Leo Bowman, QUT Assoc Prof of Journalism: “Quiet and determined. The sort of person who you see some people don’t notice, but if you watch closely you see that person is the sort of person who’s going to really attack whatever she does.”

AFL umpiring has changed significantly from the days when men wore starched white coats.

Now with Chelsea Roffey taking charge on the field this weekend, it heralds a new era for women in Australian sport.

Chelsea Roffey, AFL Umpire: “You dream about doing a grand final. Been dreaming about this day for a long, long time but getting the phone call, I was pretty much speechless.”

Chelsea Roffey is set to umpire the Hawks and Swans grand final this Saturday. We hope to see more of Roffey umpiring for AFL finals in the future.

Emilie Guillemain, QUT News.