L-R: Josh James and Glenn James 2023 Sir Doug Nicholls Round Launch. Picture: AFL Photos

THE AFL is pleased to announce the Glenn James OAM Scholarship, in honour of two-time VFL Grand Final Field Umpire, Glenn Robert James and his significant contribution to the game of Australian Rules football.

The inaugural scholarship in Uncle Glenn’s honour, will be awarded to an Indigenous talent pathway Umpire that has demonstrated proficiency and potential as a field, boundary or goal umpire and has been identified as having the capability and potential to umpire at an elite level in the AFL and/or AFLW competition.

Uncle Glenn's contributions as an educator over 36 years are outstanding. He imparted his knowledge of carpentry at Box Hill TAFE and Swinburne University, earning admiration for his ability to connect with students from diverse backgrounds.

Over a period of 12 years, Uncle Glenn assumed a key role as a respected Elder on the Koori Children’s Court, embodying the qualities of empathy and compassion.

But it is his historic achievement as an umpire that has cemented Uncle Glenn James legacy.
Uncle Glenn James OAM, a proud Yorta Yorta man, umpired 166 games AFL and VFL games, including the 1982 and 1984 VFL Grand Finals. In 2023 Glenn James was our Sir Doug Nicholls Round Honouree.

This year’s inaugural recipient of the scholarship is proud Noongar man Joshua James.

Josh James is an AFLW and VFL Development Goal Umpire and is highly regarded amongst the umpiring, football and broader community.

The scholarship will allow James to receive a designated coach to assist with the development of their ‘Elite Umpiring Profile’ capabilities. He will also be exposed to AFL Umpiring integration opportunities including AFL training and coaching sessions, ARC experiences and AFL Match benches.

As part of the scholarship, Josh will receive professional development to enable him to hone his communication skills and develop his capability in his chosen discipline of AFL goal umpiring.

AFL Executive General Manager Football Laura Kane congratulated Josh.

“We’re really proud to be announcing the Glenn James OAM scholarship. This scholarship will go a long way to further support the next generation of Indigenous Umpire talent. 

To know that Joshua James will be the first recipient, is incredibly fitting. 

“Josh is someone who truly embodies passion and determination. Over the journey, I have really enjoyed getting to know Josh and see first-hand his enthusiasm to his umpiring craft. A clear role model to our Umpiring group, Josh represents our values, is respected by his peers, and is committed to learn, develop and grow as an elite AFL Umpire,” Ms. Kane said.

“Josh has shown a commitment to developing the next generation of young Indigenous Umpires and this scholarship aims to support Josh with his ambitions as he expands his elite Umpiring career.

“On behalf of the AFL, I congratulate Josh on being the well-deserved recipient of the Inaugural Glenn James Scholarship.”

In 2023, James designed the current Sir Doug Nicholls Round Guernsey worn by all AFL Umpires across Rounds 9 and 10.