It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we advise of the death of of our Association Life Member and Patron, Noel Bissett OAM.

Noel was an icon of Rugby League in Canberra and was involved as a player and official in our game for over 50 years.

He joined the Canberra District Rugby League Referees Association in 1968, refereeing over 275 country first grade games, international matches involving touring sides; and over 100 Winfield C up (NRL) fixtures, the first referee from Canberra to be appointed at that level.

During his career he was awarded life membership of a number of Rugby League bodies and was well known for his off-field commitment to the Rugby League referees community.

In 2013, he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his service to Rugby League, in particular refereeing. He was inducted in the ACT Sport Hall of Fame in 2018. Noel was also the inaugural Chairman of the Canberra/Monaro Men in League Foundation.

Noel’s strongest legacy was improving the standards of refereeing and Rugby League throughout this district and as a mentor to many referees who achieved NRL, ARL, and NSWRL ranking as well as the many in our junior ranks.

In our Association, refereeing the first grade grand final is the pinnacle of the appointments calendar. It is a testament to the esteem in which Noel was held that our trophy for this appointment is awarded in his name.

He passed away of a heart attack on 25th April 2020.

We pass on our condolences to Lorraine and his family.