Bill Harrigan

Bill Harrigan

A professional Rugby League referee with 17 years experience in the Police Force.

Bill Harrigan joined the Police Force in 1979, where he spent 17 years. Most of his career was spent in the Tactical Response Group (TRG), dealing with riots & hostage situations, and where he trained as a negotiator. His last 5 years were in the Witness Security Unit, from where he left the force, as a sergeant, to become a professional Rugby League referee.

Bill Harrigan started refereeing by accident in 1977, officiating in the rough and tumble world of a Western Sydney pub competition. It was here that he developed a love for the role that would see him become our finest sporting official.

Key Points


  • Bill Harrigan spent 17 years in the police force, mostly as a member of the Tactical Response Group
  • After leaving the force, Bill became a professional Rugby League referee
  • Since changing his career path, Bill has officiated over 350 first grade Rugby matches, including 9 Grand Finals, 22 International test matches and 21 State of Origin fixtures

Biography

William James Harrigan was born in Sydney in 1960, and grew up in the western suburbs.

He joined the Police Force in 1979, where he spent 17 years. Most of his career was spent in the Tactical Response Group (TRG), dealing with riots & hostage situations, and where he trained as a negotiator. His last 5 years were in the Witness Security Unit, from where he left the force, as a sergeant, to become a professional Rugby League referee.

Bill started refereeing by accident in 1977, officiating in the rough and tumble world of a Western Sydney pub competition. It was here that he developed a love for the role that would see him become our finest sporting official.

Bill was graded to the NSWRL Referees in 1983, and made his First Grade debut in 1986.

In the intervening years, Bill has gone on to officiate in over 380 First Grade matches, 9 Grand Finals, 22 Test Matches and 21 State of Origin Matches (plus 2 during the Super League war). His record continues to grow.

Bill is married to Lesley, has 4 wonderful sons, and lives in Sydney.

Presentation Topics
  • Refereeing 
  • Experience in the Police Force
  • Negotiation skills
Speakers you may find interesting
  • Steve Moneghetti AM
    Steve represented Australia at four Commonwealth Games winning the complete set of marathon medals culminating in gold in 1994 in Canada. He was appointed Mayor of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Village and Chef de Mission in New Delhi.
    read more
  • Anna Meares OAM
    Anna overcame a terrible cycling accident in 2008 to win silver at the Beijing Olympics and a gold and bronze at the London 2012 Olympics in cycling. In December 2012, Anna was awarded the Sir Hubert Opperman Cyclist of the Year medal.
    read more
  • Nick Green OAM
    Nick Green was a part of the “Oarsome Foursome” rowers who brought home gold for Australia in both 1992 and 1996. He was appointed as the Chef de Mission of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team and was one of the flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Sydney 200 Olympics.
    read more
  • Nicole Livingstone OAM
    Nicole represented Australia  in swimming at three Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games and six Pan Pacific Championships, and has successfully made the transition into television and radio sports presenting. She began working with the Nine Network in 1996 taking various sports presenting roles with the broadcaster, before moving to Network Ten in 2009.
    read more
  • Bill Nelson
    Australian Men’s Long Distance Swimming Coach in the late 1990’s and responsible for the likes of Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Kieren Perkins. He was also responsible for helping change the culture of the team from an “I” mentality to a “We’ mentality. 
    read more
  • Alisa Camplin OAM
    Olympic aerial skiing gold-medallist Alisa Camplin  (OAM) has never let anything prevent her from achieving her goals. Even two fractured ankles six weeks before the 2002 Winter Olympics didn’t stop her.
    read more
  • Mick Colliss
    Mick Colliss’s tale of mateship, creative thinking and sudoku will leave you breathless with laughter. Mick and his best mates travelled to India to take part in the International Sudoku Championships in India – even though they didn’t know how to play the game.
    read more
  • Steven Bradbury OAM
    Steven was the winner of Australia’s first Winter Olympic gold medal when all of the other competitors in the ice skating finals fell over.
    read more