Tristan Symes - Life Member
At the 2023 AGM, the members voted to promote Tristan Symes to Life Member status of the AFL Queensland Umpires Association (AFLQUA). This recognition is a testament to Tristan's unwavering dedication to the AFLQUA, spanning back to 1998.
Tristan Symes' umpiring journey commenced in 1998 as a Goal Umpire. Over the years, he has left an indelible mark on the field, umpiring more than 150 QAFL games and earning his place in numerous QAFL Grand Finals. His prowess extended beyond state borders as he joined the AFL panel in 2007, officiating in an impressive 163 AFL games, with the start of his career having only one Queensland AFL club. This meant only one AFL game each fortnight. Throughout his time at the top level, Tristan was always a member of the AFLQUA and his continued support shows his dedication to Queensland umpiring.
Tristan's commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. Throughout his career, he received numerous accolades including, the Most Improved Goal Umpire in 2003 and the Most Dedicated Umpire in 2010. He was also awarded the Alan Benson Memorial Trust Scholarship in 2003, travelling to umpire in both Adelaide and Melbourne with former AFLQUA member and current NTFLUA President Mark Noonan, and former AFLQUA member Brett Bradford. These awards are a testament to his continuous pursuit of excellence and his impact on the field. Tristan had the honour of representing the AFL during a competitive match in China in 2018 between Port Adelaide and Gold Coast.
Beyond the boundaries of the field, Tristan's influence has been felt in the development of the next generation of umpires. Returning to the QAFL, not only as an umpire but also as a mentor and coach, he generously shares his wealth of knowledge with aspiring goal umpires. His calm demeanour and team-oriented approach create a supportive environment, fostering growth and camaraderie.
Tristan's commitment extends beyond the sidelines. For the past two years, he has taken on the role of Vice President on the AFLQUA Executive Committee, showcasing leadership qualities that go beyond the call of duty. Described as the 'quiet achiever,' Tristan's impact behind the scenes has been immense, influencing various facets of the association's operations.
Tristan's journey doesn't end with the Life Member title; rather, it marks a continuation of his commitment to the sport. Eager to give back to umpiring in SEQ, Tristan stands as a key figure on the Executive Committee, ensuring the continued representation and support of umpires both on and off the field.
As we celebrate Tristan Symes' induction as a Life Member, we acknowledge not just the years he has dedicated to umpiring, but the profound impact he has had on Queensland umpiring, both as a mentor and leader. Tristan's story is a testament to the enduring spirit of camaraderie and excellence that defines the AFL community in Queensland.
Here's to a lifetime devoted to the sport we all love. Congratulations, Symesy!
Photos credited to AFL Photos