Chelsea Roffey, the AFL's first female Grand Final umpire, is a speaker, author, researcher and Winston Churchill Fellow who has travelled the globe examining the barriers and opportunities of diversity.
Recognised as Official of the Year by Queensland and Victorian state umpiring bodies, and listed in The Age newspaper’s top 100 most influential people, Chelsea has been voted by her peers to leadership positions with the AFL umpires and AFL Umpires’ Association Executive and sat on the AFL Diversity Council.
She has been an invited guest of APEC at their Women’s Leadership Forum in Beijing, and was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship, travelling to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden and India to study strategies for influencing social change through diversity.
In 2012, Chelsea made headlines during the AFL Grand Final between Hawthorn and Sydney, when she became the first umpire in history to be cheered (yes, cheered!) by the crowd. Other highlights include being enveloped by the post-anthem roar on Anzac Day, standing the Port Adelaide end during the cheer squad’s emotional rendition of INXS’s ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ at Adelaide Oval and having her face connect with the end of a trademark Drew Petrie spoil in Tasmania.
She has umpired more than 215 AFL games and 16 finals, officiating as the emergency umpire at a further five grand finals after finishing in the top three nationally. Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium, a Bachelor of Journalism from Queensland University of Technology and one-third of a biomedical science degree.
Join us to hear her inspirational story.