The Penrith District Rugby League Referees’ Association was formed on 24 August 1966 at a meeting held in the Board Room of the old Penrith Leagues Club. The 16 referees that attended that meeting along with the late Merv Cartwright are duly recognised as the pioneers of the Association.

The inaugural Executive of the Association comprised Jack Harris (President), Merv Edwards (Secretary), Les Brennan (Treasurer), Jack Turner (Senior Vice President), Len Manuel (Assistant Secretary), and Barry Barnes (Assistant Treasurer).

Within 12 months, the membership had swollen to 40 and the Junior Branch was formed with Paul McPhee elected as the inaugural President, a position he held for four years. In 2013 the Association’s membership is 150.

The deeds and achievements of the Association and its members both on and off the field have not gone unnoticed in the rugby league fraternity. Our members have officiated at all levels including test matches and internationals, State of Origin, ARL and NRL finals series matches, Junior Representative fixtures and tens of thousands of junior league games.

Recently, Russell Turner achieved a personal milestone of 300 NRL matches with Rickey McFarlane reaching 100 games.

Administratively, the Association is now the benchmark for others to follow with innovative recruitment and development programs, sponsorship, and opportunities for members at all levels.