Vale – Lesley Burgess

Basketball Victoria and the Technical Officials Commission would like to express their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Lesley Burgess, who sadly passed away recently.

Lesley, who was married to Basketball Victoria Life Member Ron Burgess, was an incredible advocate for Victorian basketball community and worked to expand and improve our game across her life. Lesley was not only married to Ron, and the mother of three beautiful daughters, Anne, Linda and Sandra (dec.), but she was also married to basketball.

Lesley met Ron, as you would expect, through basketball in 1957 and were married in 1960 as the couple recently celebrated their 60-year wedding anniversary in May this year.

Lesley spent a huge amount of time involved in basketball pursuits while also supporting her entire family in their own basketball endeavours.

It was common to see Lesley at Ron’s various basketball involvements, in his early days as a player and later as a coach and even later as an administrator. But it was in those countless years that she was around supporting Ron when he was an active referee and referee coach.

Lesley was a major contributor at Dandenong Basketball, as a domestic and representative player, a junior representative coach and administrator. In tandem with Ron, the Burgess family also administered the Queen’s Birthday Junior Tournament at Dandenong from 1978 to 1993. In addition, for more than 30 years she would be found at the Dandenong Basketball Association venues working on the door and in reception. She was recognised for all this contribution with a Life Membership of the DBA in 1990.

Ron and Lesley always made a formidable couple at VBRA (TOC) Life Member events and she will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Also attached below is a heartfelt note from Katrina Daly that we came across, which typifies Lesley and the Burgess family.


When I was growing up, I had a second family that I stayed with over the weekend, in Dandenong, whilst my family lived in North Ringwood. As I was a basketball referee, playing domestic basketball (Wedge) and rep basketball (Dandenong) this took up my whole weekend.

This family was the Burgess family – Ron, Lesley, Anne, Sandra and Linda. Their house was a welcoming home to many, always having people coming and going, my memories are only of laughs, lots of laughs, pee your pants laughs.

Many tournaments we were the two families that lived together – Adelaide, Ballarat, playing against the American visiting team, Ron and Leslie used to run the tournaments at the Dandenong Stadium.

We lost one of the finest ladies I have ever met, I called her my second mum.

Lesley you were a beautiful, caring, kind, generous lady, inside and out. My last memory of you, was playing in the Masters tournament here in Melbourne at the newly opened MSAC Stadium in the over 65s. I was in awe of you then, of your tenacity and love of fun on the basketball court, us young’uns were complaining, as it was stinking hot, with no air-con, you were not daunted. 

Now you are with the other beautiful soul Sandra, your middle daughter, that we lost many years ago, up in the clouds, at peace, with no pain, stress or worries. Look after each other up there.

Katrina Daly


We wish all our condolences to Ron and his family.

Rest in Peace, Lesley.

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