For an overview of Pathways in Australia, refer to the ARU page here.
For a schoolboy or girl referee
Joining your local referee association gives you access to the District Advancement Program (metro) or Country Development Panel (country). This would generally be in Year 10 or 11.
All student referees entering Year 12 are eligible to apply for the ARU's School Student Scholarship for Match Officials.
For an adult referee
Country - nomination by your association for the Country Academy, B or A Panels. If accepted you will be appointed to Country age, women's and senior tournaments, as well as touring fixtures in the country.
Metro - join NSWRRA. The Talent Identified Referee Program (TIRP) is designed to progress you to refereeing 4th grade Premier games, while the Promising Referee Program (PRP) attempts to progress you to 2nd grade Premier games. From there you will need to demonstrate that you can consistently referee at 1st grade Premier level for acceptance on the Premier Panel. Referees are chosen from here for the ARU's National Panel.
All development programs will involve some level of specialised coaching, education, and participation in tournaments. Referees with potential for Rugby 7s will be invited by NSWRU to attend certain Rugby 7s tournaments.
Referee coaches have a similar progression. You will likely start referee coaching with your local association. If you want to progress you will seek appointment to the NSW Country or NSWRRA referee coach panels. You may be invited to attend tournaments appointed to by NSWRU or the ARU where you'll have the opportunity to learn from and work alongside National Referee Coaches.
Contact your local referee association, NSW Country Referees or the NSWRU Referee Education Coordinator (Alex Richards) for more information.