Jenny Bray
Director of Coaching / Director of Assessors SGFRA

As it’s Female Football Week, Football St George wanted to take the opportunity to introduce and acknowledge such an instrumental part of our Football St George Referees Association and someone who has done so much for the sport and especially for referees in this country.

As an introduction, Jenny started her refereeing career way back in 1984 with the St George Football Referees Association. Jenny quickly moved up the ranks locally and soon after moved to the State League branch. Jenny’s hard work and focus on advancement and training saw her appointed Australia’s first female FIFA referee in 1995, where she continued to ‘hold the badge’ up until 1997.

After hanging up the boots in 1998, Jenny, using her vast experience then turned her sights to referee coaching, where she started with the management of referees for the Women’s League for Football Federation Australia.

Between 2006 and 2008 Jenny took a sabbatical from her career as a primary school teacher to move to Kuala Lumpur to take up the Women’s Referees Development Officer role for the Asian Football Confederation. In this role Jenny would manage referees at various international tournaments where she has seen referees develop from National to FIFA standards and become World Cup referees.

Returning to Australia in 2008, Jenny has remained an AFC Referee Assessor, often travelling internationally to continue her assessing and coaching role. Most recently she has recently returned from a FIFA appointment in Tajikistan, where she was coaching referees for an Olympic Qualifying tournament for Paris 2024.

In 2000 Jenny would receive the Australian Sports Medal for Australian Sporting Achievement following a nomination by Australian Women’s Football. Jenny would then become Director of Assessors at SGFRA in 2006, was then reappointed in 2016 and received a Life Membership in 2022.

This year Jenny has jumped into caretaking the Director of Coaching role, leading, guiding and supporting the Branch’s team of Assessors and Instructors.

Reflecting on her long career in refereeing, Jenny’s two proudest moments are seeing referees she has coached become FIFA and World Cup referees and establishing the AFC Women’s Referee Seminars. As to Jenny’s most memorable moment, there was no hesitation when asked and that it would have to be refereeing the match – Australia v USA in 1997.

What a journey it has been so far for Jenny, and we can’t thank her enough for all the hard work and effort she has put in to ensuring future pathways for referees but especially for female referees.