Proud Yugambeh woman Jacqui Dover is set to make history this month as the NBL’s first female Indigenous referee, making her debut during the League’s Indigenous Round.

Dover will make her appearance in the Indigenous Round opener on Wednesday May 26 at the Cairns Pop-Up Arena, when the Taipans take on the Brisbane Bullets.

Dover started working as a referee in the WNBL before her rise to the NBL. She also recently joined Basketball NSW as its Indigenous, Cultural and Linguistically Diverse Programs Manager.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger believes Dover’s rise to the NBL referee ranks will be a turning point and will encourage more women to be involved in the game.

“Jacqui thoroughly deserves this opportunity and we wish her all the best for what we hope will be a long career ahead as an NBL referee,” Loeliger said.

Jacqui Dover in action as referee. Photo via Basketball Queensland.

The NBL’s Indigenous Round will coincide with National Reconciliation Week, running from May 26 – 31, with all nine NBL clubs to wear uniforms designed by Indigenous artists.

Loeliger says the NBL is focused on providing a strong pathway for Indigenous athletes to excel both on and off the court.

“We want to ensure the NBL’s Indigenous Round is meaningful, impactful and makes a significant positive influence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on and off the basketball court,” he said.

“Basketball has been enriched by the contribution of Indigenous players, coaches, referees and administrators across Australia and New Zealand, and we will proudly celebrate this during Indigenous Round.”

By Teisha Cloos