What a memorable week in Melbourne!
The Board and staff of the AGCSA would like to officially thank all delegates, trade companies and international guests who attended last week’s 28th Australian Turfgrass Conference and Trade Exhibition at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Nearly 600 delegates (well, 582 if we are to be exact) descended on Melbourne for the Australian turf industry’s largest annual gathering, enjoying a range of presentations across a variety of education streams as well as the two day trade exhibition which attracted around 1300 visitors.
International guest speaker Dr Frank Rossi (pictured above) from Cornell University was the undoubted highlight of this year’s education sessions. The effervescent and entertaining Dr Rossi proved to be a major hit among delegates and his ability to never miss a beat during his highly informative and thought-provoking presentations was incredible. Feedback from delegates was overwhelmingly positive and no doubt we will see Frank back Down Under sooner rather than later.
And it would appear that the feeling is mutual if the following comments by Dr Rossi to AGCSA events and education manager Simone Staples are anything to go by...
I am very grateful for your invitation to speak at the Australian Turfgrass Conference. It was by far my favourite trip and conference of my 22-year career. The people, the places, the food, the footy will always hold a special place for me. Thanks so much for the wonderful hospitality and if success is measured by the 12 to 15 emails I have already received from participants thanking me, then we did great!
Other highlights from the week were former AFL star Wayne Schwass’ passionate talk on mental health issues and how he battled depression during his playing career, while Sharon Kaibel from Right Turn left a lasting impression on delegates with her presentations on behavourial profiling and communication. The AGCSA was also delighted to host Simon and Marina Bourne who were part of Gerry Power's talk on finance. In the sportsfield stream, Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT) horticulture manager Adrian Black chaired a highly informative ‘end users forum’ which brought together representatives from the Melbourne Demons, Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Heart. At the end of the conference he then took more than 60 delegates on a tour of the impressive MOPT facilities which includes AAMI Park, Gosch’s Paddock (training facility) and Rod Laver and Hisense Arenas.
As in previous years, webcasts were recorded of all golf, sportsfield, agronomic and management stream presentations and these will be made available to all conference delegates in the coming weeks. If you were unable to attend the conference but would like to view these webcasts, you will be able to purchase access (more details to follow). Photos from the week will also be uploaded shortly onto the AGCSA’s Flickr photostream and the upcoming July-August edition of Australian Turfgrass Management Journal will contain a full wrap of the week.
Once again we thank all delegates and trust you had a great time in Melbourne. We look forward to seeing everyone on the SUNSHINE COAST in 2013! Yes, the 29th Australian Turfgrass Conference and Trade Exhibition will be held at the fantastic Twin Waters Resort from Sunday 23 June to Friday 28 June. Put it in your diary now!
AGCSA hosts successful International Summit
Prior to the Melbourne conference, the AGCSA hosted an International Summit of golf course superintendent and greenkeeper associations. Many visitors from around the globe converged on Melbourne for the summit to discuss issues relevant to the golf turf industry. As well as full representation from the AGCSA Board, general manager Peter Frewin and AGCSA HR and Best Practice Manager Daryl Sellar, the summit included the following international guests:
Jim Croxton (chief executive officer, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association)
Philip Russell (assistant to the Director - Golf Course Management, The R&A)
Dean Cleaver (executive officer, Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations)
Sandy Queen (president, GCSAA)
Rhett Evans (chief executive officer, GCSAA)
Lars Tveter (president, Norwegian Greenkeepers Association)
Peter Boyd (immediate past president, NZGCSA)
The two-day meeting was a huge success with many topics discussed and more significantly agreement made on some important subjects. Agreement was reached on a global position paper regarding sustainability and the environment and also some agreement on information and intellectual property sharing. The summit concluded with a formal dinner at the Grand Hyatt where the international guests got up close and personal with some of Australia’s famous fauna (as the photo below of Rhett and Colleen Evans shows). Many then attended the conference and took time to play a couple of Melbourne’s famous sandbelt golf courses. All spoke glowingly of the courses and the hospitality shown by all.