The Queensland Rugby community is in mourning following the loss of Geoff Barton OAM.
Geoff, 72, has been a lifelong volunteer within the Central Queensland and wider Queensland Country Rugby Union community, who was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2018 for his contributions to Country Rugby in Queensland.
Geoff, as a well-respected manager of the Central Queensland Brahmans, was part of their country championship title winning campaign in 2000. He also assisted with the Queensland Country Heelers program as a selector for 12 years and was instrumental in the restructuring of Rugby Union in Rockhampton during the 1990s.
Geoff was an advocate for providing opportunities for young Country players to experience Rugby abroad, and acted as tour manager for several Outback Barbarians tours, which saw talented players from across Queensland play on the international stage.
The Barbarians have an outstanding record, losing only four games from over 60 matches across North America since 2008.
When awarded his Order of Australia Medal, Geoff was quoted saying: “What really inspires me is seeing young blokes coming from the bush and lifting their playing skills to a whole new level.
“Every town or city we go to, everyone involved in Rugby instantly has at least 15 new friends. That is the nature of Rugby.”
Geoff was also a part of the wider Reds family, with his son Scott playing for the Queensland Reds between 1999 and 2004.
Geoff’s funeral will be held at the Des Allen Chapel in Bundaberg at 2:30pm on Thursday, 7 January. The funeral will be followed by memorial drinks at the Bargara Beach Hotel from 4:30pm.