First full-time Hyundai A-League referees announced

Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive Officer David Gallop today announced the appointment of Australia’s first three full-time professional referees - Chris Beath, Jarred Gillett and Ben Williams.

The trio have signed contracts for the Hyundai A-League for the next two seasons.

Speaking at today’s announcement, David Gallop emphasised the historic significance of these appointments.

“Professionalism for club footballers arrived in Australian at the start of the A-League in 2005 and there’s been a long-held ambition to make referees full-time,” Gallop said.

“The reality is that limited resources for Australian football means we have not been able to take this initiative until Season 11. We’ll start with a panel of three, instead of a full panel of seven which would be required to cover every A-League match.

“It’s a compromise, but it’s a move in the right direction.”

Establishing the three-member panel means FFA is investing a further $300,000 in the referee program across the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel National Youth League. Last season, a total of $1.2million was spent on refereeing.

“Australian football now has a career pathway from the grassroots to the very top of the game,” said Gallop. “This aligns with the Whole of Football Plan, which calls for a lift in the retention rate of grassroots referees from 64% to 90%.

“The project to have a full-time professional referees program is at least three years in the making. I commend Ben Wilson, our Director of Referees, who has worked hard on the implementation and I congratulate Chris, Jarred and Ben.”

FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson was proud to see the appointment of Australia’s first full-time professional referees.

“The breakthrough to professional referees means these match officials can prepare for their appointed matches, in a similar fashion to the players, without the added burden of juggling other work commitments,” Wilson said.

“Our long-term vision is to increase the number of full-time professional referees in the Hyundai A-League and eventually the Westfield W-League in due course.”

The three referees named today have accepted two-year contracts and in addition to professional refereeing, would participate in a referee well-being program which has been established to enhance the development and welfare of all Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League match officials.

The referees will train regularly at the Referee Headquarters at the FFA’s Centre of Excellence which is located at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

FFA today announced the appointment of three full time professional referees from the start of the 2015/16 Season.

Referee Biographies

Chris Beath

BORN   17 November 1984


  • Chris began refereeing in the Hyundai A-League in 2008.
  • Chris was appointed to the FIFA International Referee Panel in 2011.
  • Career highlights include selection for the AFC Asian Cup 2015 and his appointment to referee the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup Final in 2014.
  • Chris has a Bachelor of Justice (majoring in Critical Criminology)


  • 2015 AFC Asian Cup
  • 2014 Westfield FFA Cup Final Referee
  • 2006 AFC Referee’s Talent Acceleration Program
  • 2006 Australian Sports Commission National Officiating Scholarship


  • AFC Asian Cup 2015
  • 2015 J-League (2 matches)
  • 2015 AFC U19 Championships
  • AFC Cup
  • AFC Champions League

HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE – 105 matches

Jarred Gillett

BORN   1 November 1986


  • Jarred started refereeing when he was 12 years old. His father coached his team at Mudgeeraba Soccer Club and made all the players in the team do a referee’s course.
  • In 2012, at just 25 years of age, Jarred became the youngest person to referee the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
  • Jarred was appointed to the FIFA International Referee Panel in 2013.
  • Jarred has left his career as a biomechanist to pursue this role as a full time referee.


  • Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Referee of the Year and Hyundai A-League 2015 Grand Final Referee
  • Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Referee of the Year and Hyundai A-League 2012 Grand Final Referee
  • 2010-11 Australian Sports Commission National Officiating Scholarship


  • 2015 J-League referee (2 matches)
  • 2014 AFC President’s Cup Final Referee
  • 2014 Indian Super League
  • 2008-2010 AFC Project Future Referee
  • 2009,2010 English Premier League Exchange Program
  • AFC Cup
  • AFC Champions League

HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE – 84 matches

Ben Williams

BORN   14 April 1977


  • Ben has been refereeing football for the past 24 years, at local, national and international level.
  • Ben was appointed to the FIFA International Referee Panel in 2005.
  • He has been a National Panel Member for the past 21 seasons and is a foundation referee in the Hyundai A-League.
  • His career highlight was his selection for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
  • Ben has left his career as a high school Physical Education teacher to pursue this role as a full time referee.
  • Little known fact: Ben was the NSL Assistant Referee of the Year in 2002.


  • 2014 FIFA World Cup
  • 2013 AFC Referee of the Year
  • 2012 AFC Champions League Final Referee
  • 2008 & 2014 ACT Sportstar of the Year – Official


Hyundai A-League (147)

  • Referee:                        140 matches
  • 4th Official:                        7 matches

National Soccer League (120)

  • Referee:                        23 matches
  • Assistant Referee:         53 matches
  • Fourth Official:              44 matches


FIFA Competitions (Finals)

  • 2014 FIFA Club World Cup (including Semi Final)
  • 2014 FIFA World Cup
  • 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup
  • 2012 London Olympic Games
  • 2010 FIFA Club World Cup

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competitions

  • 2015 AFC Asian Cup (including Quarter Final)
  • 2011 AFC Asian Cup
  • 2010 Asian Games
  • 2008 AFC U19 Championships
  • 2006 AFC U16 Championships
  • AFC Cup
  • AFC Champions League

Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Competitions

  • 2006 & 2008 OFC Champions League Final
  • 2005 U17 OFC Championships
  • 2005 OFC FIFA Club World Cup Qualifying Tournament 

For a full list of this season's Hyundai A-League referees profiles click here.