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Kurt Dillon, STA Australia & NSW Graduate interviewed by Turf Mate

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STA NSW Facebook Page

- Keeping members connected -



NRL Logo going on Pirtek Stadium

Click here to watch logo application

Monster Truck Makeover

ANZ Stadium hosted a Monster Truck event 2 weeks after the NRL grandfinal.

Growth mat, plywood and a lot of soil are placed on the surface of the stadium. The Track is ready for rehearsal within 24 hours of start of the building process.
Ready to go for a big night with 54,000 people attending.  
More photos and information are available in the next STA magazine.

Cricket Wicket Seminar 2014

The Cricket Wicket Seminar was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on
Wednesday, 20th August 2014. The event took place in the historic Members Lounge which created a great atmosphere with lots of cricket memorabilia and artifacts from the venues history. Over 170 people attended the event. 

After days of extremely heavy rain hitting Sydney before the event we were amazed and very lucky to have the sun shine for our event. This allowed delegates to get outside on to the practice wickets for some demonstrations as well as a walk over the SCG pitch.

It was a great day with a mixture of topics presented.

Many thanks to Tom Parker and the staff at the SCG for their support and assistance with the event.

More photos coming soon with a full wrap up in the next edition of STA NSW magazine.



NRL Grandfinal 2013

Another NRL season has wrapped up with the playing of the NRL Grandfinal At ANZ Stadium.

According to NRL Stats, the Grand Final will bring up 300 NRL fixtures at ANZ Stadium.
During that time, 2253 tries have been scored and 7,328,827 NRL fans have walked through the gates.
Rugby League Week interviews Graeme Logan prior to Grand Final big day.



Sports Turf Graduate Award

NSW representative takes out
National Title.
Congratulations Andrew Spicer for being selected as the National Sports Turf Graduate Award Winner.

The photo below was taken after the interviews when the 3 National candidates had a look around ANZ Stadium the day before the State of Origin 1.

Chris Deppeler (VIC), Andrew Spicer (NSW) and Ryan Tracey (QLD).


Turf Growers at ANZ Stadium

Turf Australia held its Annual General Meeting at ANZ Stadium on Monday, 2nd September. After the meeting, Stadium Curator and STA NSW Vice President, Graeme Logan took the group for a tour of the Stadium including dressing rooms, tunnel and playing surface. Graeme explained what he and his staff go through during the year for the variety of events held at the stadium including the transition from league to AFL and concerts etc. The group had a close up look at the Grolights on the ground and the trenches used for moving the stadium back and forward during different events.

STA NSW President Chris Chapman with newly appointed STA ACT President, Scott Harris at the Wollongong Seminar

It should be noted that Chris was wearing that 'shirt' after losing a State of Origin bet to STA QLD and not by choice...


Wollongong Seminar Review

140 people attended the Wollongong Seminar and it was a great day. Not only did we have another magic Winters day, but we were able to utilise the new function facilities at WIN Stadium and the ground was in excellent condition.  Many thanks to Mick Barsby, Stadium Curator for all his help in preparing for the event. Also to Stuart Barnes the General Manager and Megan Jones the Function Manager whose support was fantastic.

We had greenkeepers from all over the state, not just from the South Coast and we appreciate all the delegates attending the day.  Our presenters provided some great information during the event:

Simon Louis, Australian Bureau of Meterology, showed the delegates how to navigate the BOM website and utilise its facilities as well as talk about the weather expected during summer.

Mark Parker, Concord Golf Course, shared his experience and insight into getting the right person on your staff and keeping them. Some key points were the importance of checking references and looking into the background of the person applying for a position. He suggested considering your team at work the same as a sporting team, they all need to work together with the same goal to get the job done.  Mark also shared information on the student program he runs at Concord.

Next up was Jake Gibbs of Wollongong Golf Course. Jake's talked covered the step from 2IC to Superintendent/Manager. He talked about his journey to get where he is today and the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity and learning from peers. He stressed the importance of being prepared for an interview and being professional.  Jake also felt that networking with peers in the industry is very imporant.

Delegates then had a break for morning tea and a chance to talk to sponsors.  It wouldn't be an STA NSW event without bacon and egg rolls for morning tea and from all reports they went down well.

After morning tea it was time for sharing some technical information and this commenced with Jyri Kaapro from Bayer talking about best practice in managing your turf during summer, specifically stem weevil and nematode management.

This was followed by presentations from Roger Maher, Toro Australia and Henk Smith, Syngenta on the importance of correct application of products and making sure the spraying equipment and the turf protection products match up seamlessly.

Graeme Logan, ANZ Stadium, then shared some amazing images and facts on preparing for the NRL Grandfinal, what we don't see on the day. It is always amazing to hear of the situations the grounds staff have to deal with for a major event. See below for some interesting facts and figures.

Time for a lunch break and talking to sponsors about their products before wrapping up the day with the final presentations.

Our guest speaker for the day was former rugby league star Mark "Piggy" Riddell.  Mark shared some funny stories from his time playing League. The game was well and truely in his blood and he started at the age of 4. Mark was signed by the Rooster as a 14year old and captained the Australian Schoolboys team in 1998.  Around this time he did an apprenticeship with Parks and Gardens for Bankstown Council. He spent 4 years at the Dragons and always loved playing at WIN Stadium as it was a fast track. Mark then went on to play for Parramatta for 4 years and then Wigan in England for a season. Wigan won the competition that year and at the end of the season he returned to Australia expecting his career was done. He was talked into playing the 2011 season with the Roosters but after 10 games he realised that it was time to hang up the boots for good.

Mark has since done a full circle back to his horticultural days and is now working with Collins Group in the sports turf industry. He is enjoying be involved on the other side of a sports field.

With a hard act to follow, delegates were then given information from Matthew Apps from the NSW Rural Fire Service about fire safety in the workplace. Matthew provided some images from fires at golf courses etc and informed delegates what they look for and how they manage fires in sporting venues.

The final presentation for the day was from WIN Stadium, General Manager, Stuart Barnes who gaves us a insight into the history of the venue and how far they have come to have the facility they have today.  What was very satisfying was the pride and appreciation Stuart has for the work Mick Barsby and his staff do on the ground.  He expressed how important their role is to the success of the venue.

The day was concluded with a tour of the venue and that started with a walk to the back of the western grandstand to look at the amazing view of the ocean along side the stadium.

A great day had by all.

A day like this would not be possible without the support of the sponsors and STA NSW is very grateful for their attendance.

Jake Gibbs, Wollongong Golf Course

Simon Louis, Bureau of Meterology


Morning tea break


Guest Speaker, Mark Riddell

Event Sponsors

Event Partners:        Toro Australia

Silver Sponsors:     Turf Drain Australia
                                   HG Sports Turf
                                   Globe Growing Solutions

Colin Campbell Chemicals Evergreen Turf Mentay
Microturf Nuturf PJC Sportsturf
Proturf Machinery Signet Supreme Sports Fields
Supaturf Vermont Sands    Turfmate

Graeme Logan, ANZ Stadium

 More photos from Wollongong Seminar are
available in Gallery


Presentation to NSW Graduate Award Winner

It was great to be able to officially present our State Winner with his plaque. Andrew Spicer was presented with the title of 2012 NSW Sports Turf Graduate Of The Year Award in front of his work mates and colleagues on 18th June.  Central Coast Group Training (CCGT) organised a morning tea for the occasion. It was great to see the support from not only CCGT but staff from Wyong Shire Council and Andrew's dad. The local media were there to record the presentation and promote the importance of apprenticeships in the area.

The presentation at CCGT office, Wyong.

Chris Chapman, STA NSW President presents Andrew Spicer with his award
    Andrew accepting his award
A proud Dad, Pat, says a few words The crew from CCGT and Wyong Shire Council supporting Andrew  

National Sports Turf Graduate Award       

Thanks to the support of Toro Australia, STA is able to offer our Graduates an opportunity to hold the title of National Sports Turf Graduate of the Year.

STA states selected a representative to attend the interview for the national title.  The winner will be announced at the National Turfgrass conference on the Sunshine Coast in June.

This years candidates are:

Chris Deppeler (STA Victoria)

Employer:   Self Employed contractor

Chris started his apprenticeship at Ocean Grove Bowling Club in 2009 and worked there until 2011 where he was then offered a transfer of his apprenticeship to Greener Pastures. He believed that this opportunity would give him more exposure to different turf situations enabling him to develop his skills and knowledge.   He has also worked part time for Highton Cricket Club preparing the main turf wickets,  Eastern Park Croquet Club and also back at Ocean Grove Bowling Club.  He loves the challenges of his work and feeling of achievement when the work is done. He has commenced the first year of his Turf Diploma. Chris aspires to be in charge of an elite sports turf facility but in the short term will continue to develop his skills and knowledge. Outside of work he plays lawn bowls and golf.
Andrew Spicer (STA NSW)

Employer:   Wyong Shire Council / Central Coast Group Training
Andrew has worked with Wyong Shire Council since 2010 and has worked  just about every oval in the Wyong Shire including, AFL, Rugby League, Soccer and Cricket.  His work involves looking after the fields and their surrounds as well as some building maintenance. He studied at Kurri Kurri TAFE and achieved excellent results and enjoyed the experience of working on different surfaces.  Andrew loves the freedom of working outdoors and is very sport oriented playing soccer and cricket and loves fishing.  He is very passionate about his work and has ambitions to one day be a head greenkeeper at a major stadium.
Ryan Tracey (STA QLD)

Employer:  Landscape Solutions
Ryan commenced his apprenticeship in 2009 with Professional Greens Management and worked with them up until March this year. He is now working with Landscape Solutions as a site manager at a retirement village where he is responsible for all grass and garden areas for the complex.  During his apprenticeship he assisted in re-construction of a bowling green and several renovations.  Ryan studied at Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, Grovely Campus.  He enjoys his work as he is able to take the project from the planning stage through to completion to the client’s satisfaction.  Ryan’s long term ambition is to progress to superintendent role at a major sports stadium or golf course. He is planning on completing his Diploma in Turf Management.

Unfortunately we didn't have suitable candidates from WA, SA or ACT this year.

Good luck to Chris, Andrew and Ryan.

Turfmate interview STA NSW Vice President - Graeme Logan

Mudgee Seminar Review, 13th May 2013

Many thanks to the sports turf managers who attended our first event held in this great town. We had the opportunity to utilise the new facilities at the Mudgee Golf Club and we were very impressed.  Not only was the seminar room very comfortable with all the latest mod cons but the service was fantastic.  At the end of our presentations we headed over to the Glen Willow Stadium and Brad Reynolds gave us an insight into the venue. Many thanks to the Council for putting on a few drinks and nibbles - much appreciated.


The presenters on the day covered a wide range of topics.

Graeme Logan commenced the proceedings talking about how he manages the daily challenges of a multi purpose stadium.  It is always a real eye opened to hear what goes on behind the scenes of a big venue and the difficulties Graeme and his staff face.  We then had a joint presentation from Mark Johnson of Toro Australia and Henk Smith of Syngenta. Mark and Henk's topic was titled "Excellence in Application". Being able to establish and maintain vigorous, high quality and attractive turf. They informed delegates that this depends largely on making sure the spraying equipment and turf protection products match up seamlessly.

After these very informative presentations we had a break, strechted the legs and had some great afternoon tea.  After the break the delegates learnt exactly what the EPA are look for when they go into a workplace.  Martin Bowles and David Thompson from EPA offered some very important information to ensure sports turf managers are doing the right thing in respect to chemical use.

The remaining presentations focused around the Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee. Grant Thomas from Sustainable Turf Renovations kicked this off talking about the construction of the ground and the challenges faced during the works. We then all headed over to the stadium where Brad Reynolds talked about his background and role at the stadium.

While some then headed home, others went back to the Golf Club for a few drinks and some dinner while watching Monday night footy on the big screen.  We were joined by several players from the Blue Mountains and Western Districts Golf Day that was being held at the club the following day.  A great night had by all.

Many thanks to our presenters, sponsors and supporters of the day.

Event Partners  

Silver Partners

Event Sponsors

This is an inspiring story from a guy who loves his ground and his baseball.

Charity Race Day a big success

The Dad & Dave’sTurf and Evergreen Turf Charity Race Day was held at Hawkesbury Race Club on 28th March 2013.
Race Sponsors: Hi Quality Turf, Grech’s Turf, J & B Buffalo, Southern Cross Turf, Matilda Turf, Living Turf, Australian Turf Projects and Fleming Golf.
Over the past five years $354,000 has been raised at this event.
All this going to the Living Cancer Trust to bring an oncology and infusion unit to the people of Hawkesbury. Residents of the Hawkesbury area have had to cope with long distance travel for treatment of cancer. The devoted members of the Living Cancer Trust will now be able to support the locals of  the area with this essential service.

It was great to see the entire Turf community come together to support such a great cause.  The Windsor turfies should be very proud of their efforts for the terrific support they have given this event and the community of the Hawkesbury.
$84,000 Raised at 2013 event STA NSW table

STA NSW is proud to be involved in this great charity event and congratulates Graeme Colless, Vivienne Leggett and the organisers.

NSW Sports Turf Graduate 2012 Selected

On the 19th April STA NSW interviewed students nominated for the NSW Sports Turf Graduate of the Year for 2012.  Once again the quality of students presented was very high and this made the decision of chosing a winner a difficult one. This process starts with the TAFE’s throughout NSW nominate a student that meets the criteria set.  This year we interviewed 3 students:  Andrew Cassar - Barker College, Andrew Spicer - Wyong Shire Council & Kaysie Davies - Campbelltown Council.

We are pleased to announce that Andrew Spicer was selected as the NSW Sports Turf Graduate of 2012. Andrew will now prepare for the National interviews in early June and he will also attend the Australian Turfgrass Conference on the Sunshine Coast at the end of June.  The winner of the National Title will be announced at the conference. We wish Andrew all the best for the National interviews.

We would also like to wish the best of luck to Andrew C and Kaysie and know they have an exciting career path ahead of them.

Andrew Spicer -2012 Sports Turf Graduate   Central Coast newspaper acknowledges Andrew's achievement

NSW STA Golf Day Review

Long Reef Golf Course was the venue for teh 2013 STA NSW Golf Day. Many thanks to Peter Donkers and the staff at Long Reef for presenting a fantastic course, despite terrible weather in the days leading up to the event.

Congratulations to the Globe Ausralia Team who took out the trophy:
Scott Armstrong, Stuart Gill, Peter Donkers and Russell Fletcher

1st Prize - Nett Score - Globe Australia 1st Prize - Scratch Score - Living Turf 2nd Prize - Nett Score - Millers Turf
3rd Prize - Nett Score - Turfcare NSW Bradman Award Relaxing after golf
3rd Prize - Scratch Score - Nuturf Nearest to the Pin - Greg Askew Longest Drive - W Saunders