CQUniversity has joined forces with the NRL's Officiating Unit, signing an agreement that will see improved pathways and opportunities for officials throughout Australia, along with opportunities for CQUniversity staff and students.
Under the agreement, refereeing courses could be run anywhere throughout CQUniversity's national network of campuses.
"Community engagement forms part of our University's core values and it's great to be able to deliver on that through this partnership that sees CQUniversity offering its facilities for the NRL to run monthly referee coaching courses," CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said.
"This partnership will also allow the NRL to work with CQUni staff and students to gain access to reporting, monitoring, testing and research in order to continually improve the game and its officiating outcomes.
"We will work closely with the NRL Officiating Unit to developing research projects that support growth, competitive advantage and continuous improvement across the sector."
NRL's General Manager, Officiating Tony Archer took part in the official announcement held at CQUniversity's Rockhampton North campus last week.
"We are here today to give the young referees from regional areas the same opportunities as everyone else in Australia," Mr Archer said.
"The agreement with CQUni allows us to run academies right across the country and everyone has an equal opportunity.
"There will be 130 young referees across the country in the very foreseeable future undertaking academy programs and the facilities of CQUni across those campuses is a crucial part of that.
"We're are very excited to formalise this agreement that will see the NRL use the CQUniversity campuses and its great facilities," Mr Archer said.
"This partnership will also allow us to work closely with CQUni to develop new pathways for the development of young local referees who have the ability to aim toward the elite officiating."
Launch participants included NRL match official and CQUni Communication graduate Belinda Sleeman and Referee Development Program participant Luke Quinn, who is a current CQUni student.