Referee Belinda Sharpe has been deservedly recognised, following a huge 2019 that saw her become to first female to referee an NRL game.
The Rockhampton product was named the Konica Minolta Officiator of the Year in front of 700 people at the Annual Queensland Sport Awards and Hall of Fame Presentation at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at the weekend.
Sharpe was appointed to her first NRL match as a referee in July and in the process became the first female in Australian rugby league history to referee a professional men’s match.
"It's really nice to be recognised... I was certainly in great company at the Q Sport awards," Sharpe said.
"It was an honour to get the award after what has been a really good year for me.
"In saying that, I enjoy what I do - I enjoy refereeing, so rewards are just a bonus."
During 2019, along with her historic NRL appointment, Sharpe ran lines in the NRL and officiated matches in Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup competition.
She also became a full-time member of the NRL referees’ squad, taking control of the Holden Women’s State of Origin match between the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons and New South Wales in front of more than 10,000 fans at North Sydney Oval.
This is something I've been working towards for a long time' - Belinda Sharpe
Sharpe, who has started pre-season training for the 2020 season, said she looked forward to what next year could bring.
"I'm excited to get back out on the field - out refereeing," Sharpe said.
"There will be a lot of training and hard work before then."
The world's number one ranked women's tennis player Ash Barty took out The Courier-Mail Channel 7 Queensland Sport Star of the Year Award - one of 11 presented for Queensland's top on and off field sporting performances.