Author: Mitch Wynd
Fifteen years after umpiring a test match between Australia and China, one of Australia’s highest ranked international female umpires, Melissa Trivic, has retired from international umpiring.
In an international career matched by few, Trivic accumulated 100 senior caps through appointments to the most important championships, tournaments and matches over the past 15 years. Her career progressed from test matches, four nation tournaments and Olympic qualifiers to appointments to the Commonwealth Games in 2010, World League Semi Finals in 2013 and 2015, World Cup in 2014, and the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
Hockey Australia (HA) will formally recognise and celebrate her achievements later in the year when Trivic will umpire her last national match in Perth during the Hockey One League.
HA CEO Matt Favier said her contribution to hockey, here and internationally was remarkable.
“Trivic is recognised internationally for her talents and her longstanding commitment to our sport. We’re so grateful for all that she has done for hockey – getting to the very top takes commitment, skill and shows incredible dedication on both her and her family’s part.
On behalf of the hockey community, I would like to thank her for all she has done for our sport and congratulate her on her achievements,” said Favier.
Trivic will continue to be involved in local hockey, saying she simply “loves the sport too much” to hang up the whistle entirely.
“I feel very proud of my achievements and am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved in the sport I love at the highest level. I made some great friendships and had a blast along the way. The memories and laughs are endless,” she said, struggling to name only one highlight of her international career.
“Umpiring at the Women’s World Cup (Den Hague 2014) was definitely something I had strived for. This was beaten as my career highlight by being appointed to an Olympic Games – my ultimate goal.
“Umpiring the European derby Holland vs Germany in Rio was a real honour, however my favourite match was the quarter-final GB vs Spain. Such intense pressure and excitement with the teams fighting for a semi-final place,” Trivic said.
Achieving what few before her have done, Trivic credits her family for enabling her to follow her passion and notes that the international opportunities haven’t come without sacrifice.
“For a huge chunk of my professional career I ensured I held jobs that afforded some flexibility for me to chase my goal, allowing me to attend one to two tournaments per year. It did mean though, that career advancement stalled during this time, especially as I was juggling hockey, work and a young family.
“Fortunately, I have an extremely supportive husband, mum and in-laws that unreservedly stepped up and followed my colour-coded calendars for the duration of tournaments, making sure both boys were always at school on time and taken to after school activities. They were amazing and without them I couldn’t have traveled the world doing what I love,” she says.
Asked what advice she’d give aspiring international umpires, she has no hesitation:
“Be a sponge and absorb all the advice and feedback you get along the way. Focus on the things you can control; your performance and attitude. And don’t take any match for granted, treat each match with the respect it deserves, and know that it’s a privilege every time you step on the field.
“Being a great umpire takes passion, desire and humility. I think we’re all driven to be the best we can be, but the very best umpires are those who understand that the game is not about them, but rather that they are there to simply serve the game,” she said.
Melissa Trivic was Hockey Australia’s Women’s Official of the Year in 2011 and 2016.