About the Association

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association, formerly The Australian Golf Course Superintendents' Association (AGCSA), underwent a name change in September 2019 to be further representative of all members of the Association. 

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association is a not-for-profit industry association formed in 1981 (as the Australian Golf Course Superintendents' Association), and has evolved into the largest industry association in Australia for professional Sports Turf Managers.   With over 1,500 members throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia, the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association is committed to the ongoing education, development and support of all professionals involved in Turf Management.  

Representing members of Sports Turf Management industry across all areas of the Trade, including Golf Courses, Sportsfields & Grounds, Racetracks, Lawn Tennis, Councils, Turf Equipment Technicians and other related fields.  As the industry association responsible for professional Sports Turf Managers, the association supports members through education, facilitating Industry Awards, advocacy, and research & development into professional and environmentally sustainable Turf Management. 

Considered to be the peak industry body for Sports Turf Management in Australia, the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association works to improve the knowledge, welfare and professional standards of its members and other industry professionals as well as the production of quality of facilities for Sport & Recreation in Australia. 

The association strives to ensure that these constant improvements in professional Sports Turf Management standards are achieved in a safe, responsible and environmentally sustainable manner.
 

In supporting Sports Turf Managers, the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association operates various business services, including:

 

Under the brand of the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Assocaition, the association became a fully incorporated in 1991 with Doug Robinson elected inaugural president.  For his tireless work over the years at both State and National level, Doug would go on to receive AGCSA Life Member status. 

 

 

Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Staff

 

Mark Unwin

 

Simone Staples

Chief Executive Officer   Events and Education Manager

Mark started with the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association in late September 2017 and arrived with an extensive business background, his most recent role that of General Manager at a Melbourne-based Advertising and Multimedia Group. Specialising in the production of magazines, including Golf Magazine, Marks background also includes Conferences, Events and Seminars across the sport, health and fitness industries. Prior, Mark worked for leading business marketing company Sensis for more than 14 years, most recently as National Operations Manager.  In addition to his work around Australia, Mark also spent a great deal of time overseas in New Zealand, the USA, India and the Philippines, working in the areas of Customer Experience, Management, Marketing and Sales.


Email: mark@agcsa.com.au

Mobile: 0438 320 919

 

Simone took over the key role of Australian Sports Turf Managers Association events and education manager in 2007 after working in an admin capacity part-time.

Simone, a former administration manager for the Victorian branch of the TGAA, is now responsible for putting together the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association's major events, including the annual Australian Turfgrass Conference and roving workshops, as well as Australian Sports Turf Managers Association education and accreditation.

Simone also plays a critical role with the National Turf Education Working Group of which the Association is secretariat.
 

Email: simone@agcsa.com.au

Mobile: 0415 322 213

 

 

   

Bruce MacPhee (Dip. Sports Turf Management)

 

Tim Fankhauser (Dip. Sports Turf Management)

Senior Agronomist   Consulting Agronomist

Bruce has over 30 years’ experience in the turf industry and joined the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association in June 2016. Bruce’s turf management career began as an apprentice at Patterson River Golf Club in the mid-1980s and after completing that had small stints at Dandenong Central Bowling Club and Devil Bend Golf Club. In 1993 he joined Peninsula Country Golf Club, rising to the role of assistant superintendent (five years) and superintendent (two years). Between 2002 and 2012 Bruce was a turf management lecturer at Chisholm Institute of TAFE where he taught the Certificate II and III Sports Turf Management and Parks and Gardens courses and was also responsible for the development and delivery of the Diploma in Sports Turf Management. In 2012 he joined Evergreen Turf as a project manager where he was responsible for the successful development and implementation of large scale construction projects, including the new $72 million Pakenham racecourse.

Email: bruce@agcsa.com.au

Mobile: 0409 183 710

 

Tim arrived at the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association in December 2017, after more than 10 years as assistant superintendent at one of the Mornington Peninsula’s top golf courses – The Dunes.  Tim’s career in turf management started when he joined the crew at The Dunes in 2002 after working for the previous 16 years on the family’s Mornington Peninsula apple orchard. He went on to complete a Certificate III in Sports Turf Management as a mature age apprentice and in 2006 was appointed assistant superintendent, at which time he undertook the Diploma in Sports Turf Management.  

He was named Chisholm Institute’s Outstanding Diploma Student in 2010 and went on to win the AGCSA Award for Academic Achievement at the 2011 Australian Turfgrass Conference in Adelaide. As part of his Diploma, he undertook a comprehensive research project studying the effects of ethephon on bentgrass

Email: tim@agcsa.com.au

Mobile: 0422 418 038

 

 

   

Brett Robinson (B. Communication Studies, Print Journalism)

 

Keally Nankervis

Editor   Social Media and Communications Co-ordinator 

The token Kiwi of the office, Brett joined the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association in a part-time capacity in 2003 as editor of Australian Turfgrass Management Journal (ATM).

His role became full-time in 2004 and now encompasses the range of Australian Sports Turf Managers Association publications, including ATM, The Cut e-mail newsletter and website management.

Brett has twice won the Tom Ramsey Award for excellence in journalism at the annual Australian Golf Media Awards, first in 2009 for his coverage of the Black Saturday bushfires and again in 2011 for his article on Cottesloe Golf Club superintendent Simon Bourne.


Email: brett@agcsa.com.au

Mobile: 0434 144 779

 

Keally joined the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association team in October 2019, to assist with the social media and communications requirements of the Assocaition, industry and members.

Keally has a professional background within recruitment, customer service, office management, marketing and design, which she has gained from her roles both in Melbourne and overseas prior to relocating to Melbourne in 2013.

Most recently, Keally has developed her experience through working in the marketing agency environment across aspects of communicaitons including social media management, copy, content creation, and analytics/reporting.


Email: keally@agcsa.com.au

Phone: 9548 8600

 

 

   

Philip Horsburgh

 

Allison Jenkins

Finance Manager   Membership Services Manager

Philip has been the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Accountant since 2002 and ensures the association's books are all in order.

Starting his career in the drycleaning industry, Philip has an extensive background in accountancy and spent 10 years with Electrolux before joining the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association.

Email: philip@agcsa.com.au

Phone: 9548 8600

 

Allison initially joined the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association team in April 2010 to assist with the operations for the Annual Conference, and following moved into a role as an Administrative Assistant, and then into Membership Co-ordinator.

It was a return to the workforce after seven years of being a stay-at-home mum. Prior to that Allison was a PA to a professor of a university/hospital department at the Austin Hospital for 20 years.


Email: admin@agcsa.com.au

Phone: 9548 8600

 

 

   

Jo Corne

 

Pam Irvine

Art Director   Exhibition and Events Co-ordinator  

Completing the Tri Nations flavour of the office, South African-born Jo is responsible for the design and production of the suite of Australian Sports Turf Managers Association publications and promotional material, including the association's flagship journal Australian Turfgrass Management.

Jo joined the Association in November 2004 after the association made the decision to bring the design of the magazine in-house.


Emailjo@agcsa.com.au

Phone: 9548 8600

 

Pam commenced with the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association team in September 2019, having recently returned from a safari trip to South Africa. 

Born in Canada, Pam has a number of years experience in Business Development in the Sport & Recreation and Exhibition industries, and has spent many years as both Client Relationship Manager and Executive Assistant working with Councils and Government Agencies. 

Pam has also a background in recruitment with a number of years spent involved with job ready programs, employment assistance and developing external training courses.  


Email: pam@agcsa.com.au

Phone: 9548 8600

 

 

 

AGCSA Board of Directors

President: Peter Lonergan (Superintendent, Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, Qld) - Life Member

Profile: Peter is serving his second stint as ASTMA president, having previously held the role between 2012 and 2016. He was initially co-opted to the Board in August 2011 following the resignation of director Bryce Strachan. Peter’s career started at Latrobe Golf Club in suburban Melbourne and included a one year stint as 'curator' at Colac Golf Club in Victoria’s western district. 

Peter then moved to Victoria Golf Club where he spent 14 years before working in sales at Nuturf for two years and then making his latest move to Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club on the NSW/QLD border. Peter has vast experience at state association level having been a former president of both the VGCSA and GCSAQ and was one of Victoria’s representatives at the state presidents meeting at Metropolitan Golf Club in 1991 that voted to form the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association as we know it today. 

Peter was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association in June, 2019.

 

Treasurer: Chris Burgess (Superintendent, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, Vic)

Profile: Chris joined the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Board at the 2017 AGCSA AGM held during the 33rd Australian Turfgrass Conference.

Chris began his Sports Turf Management career as a 16-year-old at the exclusive Capital Golf Club in Melbourne. Joining when the course was still under construction, Chris spent 13 years there and rose to the position of foreman. During his time there, Chris was also given the opportunity by the club to spend 15 months working on the construction of Kingsbarns Links in Scotland.

In 2006 Chris took on his first superintendent role at Lang Lang Golf Club east of Melbourne and in 2008 was appointed grow-in superintendent at the Black Bull development in Yarrawonga. In 2010 the position at nearby Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort became available and has been his home ever since. Chris is a past Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Golf Championship winner, collecting the coveted Toro Red Jacket at Newcastle Golf Club in 2015.

 

David Thomson (Superintendent, Bermagui Country Club, NSW)

Profile: Bermagui Country Club course Superintendent David Thomson (pictured) was elected to the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Board at the 2019 Annual General Meeting held during the Brisbane conference. 

Thomson has been involved in the industry for more than 30 years and has been superintendent at Bermagui on the NSW South Coast since July 2001.

Thomson began his journey as an Apprentice at Tura Beach Country Club, before taking on assistant superintendent roles at Pambula-Merimbula Golf Club and Hope Island Resort in the early 1990s.  In 1994 he headed to Malaysia to be construction superintendent at Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort, before heading home in 1999 to join the crew as assistant at Mollymook.

During his time at Bermagui, Thomson has undertaken countless projects to improve the course and has trained a legion of apprentices who have gone on to great careers of their own.  For his efforts and contribution to the industry, the NSWGCSA awarded Thomson its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017.

 

Ben Tilley (Superintendent, Headland Golf Club, Qld)

Profile: Ben Tilley’s appointment to the ASTMA Board at the 2020 AGM marks another milestone in what has been a storied career for the Queensland based superintendent. That career, which has spanned nearly four decades, was recognised in July 2020 when Ben received the GCSAQ’s highest honour - the Superintendent Industry Recognition Award - at the Queensland Golf Industry Awards.

Ben has been superintendent at Headland since 2007 and prior to that was an assistant at Twin Waters Golf Club and superintendent at Beerwah Golf Club. Ben is a multiple award winner, having collected the 2000 AGCSA Claude Crockford Environment Award during his tenure at Beerwah, as well as the AGCSA Excellence in Golf Course Management Award in 2012 for his work at Headland. Like fellow ASTMA Board member Peter Lonergan, Ben also played a major role on the GCSAQ committee over an impressive 16-year period, holding most positions including two years as president.

 

Damian Hough (Head Curator, Adelaide Oval, SA)

Profile: One of this country's most experienced and accomplished turf managers, Damian joined the ASTMA Board in 2020. A member of the ASTMA for almost 15 years, the co-opted appointment of Damian brings new skills and knowledge to the Board in the area of sportsfields and grounds management and assists greatly with the delivery of the association's strategic plan over the next few years.

Damian has been part of the Grounds Department at the Adelaide Oval since 1996, taking over as head curator in July 2010 and completing his Advanced Diploma in Sports Turf Management in 2011. Throughout this time, Damian has overseen the complete redevelopment of the oval's playing surfaces, including the successful introduction of drop-in wickets and transition of the playing surface to ryegrass.

Australian Sports Turf Managers Association History

 

2019-2020 

President: Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC - pictured)

Board Members: Chris Burgess (Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club, VIC - Treasurer), David Thomson (Superintendent, Bermagui Country Club, NSW), and Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD)

2019 Conference: Brisbane Convention Centre, Queensland (24 - 27 June 2019)

 

 

 

2018-2019 

President: Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC)

Board Members: Steve Lewis (Royal Hobart Golf Club, Tas - Treasurer), Chris Burgess (Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club, VIC), and Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD)

2018 Conference: TSB Arena, Wellington, New Zealand (25 - 28 June 2018)

   

 

2017-2018 

 

2016-2017 

President: Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC)

Board Members: Steve Lewis (Royal Hobart Golf Club, Tas - Treasurer), Chris Burgess (Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club, VIC), and Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD)

2017 Conference: Sunchine Coast Convention Centre, Sunshine Coast, QLD (23-28 June 2017)

 

President: Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC)

Board Members: Steve Lewis (Royal Hobart Golf Club, Tas - Treasurer), Darren Wilson (Wembley GC, WA), and Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD)

2016 Conference: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Melbourne VIC (24-28 June 2016)

     

2015-2016 

 

2014-2015

President: Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD

Board Members: Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC - Treasurer), Darren Wilson (Wembley GC, WA), Steve Lewis (Royal Hobart Golf Club, Tas). 

2015 Conference: Hunter Valley, NSW (22-27 June 2015)

 

President: Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD

Board Members: Darren Wilson (Wembley GC, WA - Treasurer), Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC) and Steve Lewis* (Royal Hobart Golf Club, Tas). 

* Lewis co-opted to the AGCSA Board following the resignation of Robin Doodson (Sanctuary Cove G&CC, QLD) in July 2014.

2014 Conference: Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD (22-27 June 2014)

     

2013-2014

 

2012-2013

President: Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, QLD - pictured right)

Board Members: Darren Wilson (Wembley GC, WA - Treasurer), Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC) and Robin Doodson (Sanctuary Cove G&CC, QLD)

2013 Conference: Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast, QLD (22-28 June 2013)

 

President: Peter Lonergan (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads GC, QLD)

Board Members: Darren Wilson (Wembley GC, WA - Treasurer), Brett Balloch (Anglesea GC, VIC) and Tony Fogarty* (Club Catalina, NSW). 

*Fogarty steps off board Jan 2013 after resigning from Club Catalina

2012 Conference*: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, VIC (4-8 June, 2012). 

*Incorporated the International Summit of Golf Course Superintendent and Greenkeeping Associations.

     

2011-2012

 

2010-2011

President: Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA)

Board Members: Darren Wilson (Wembley GC, WA - Treasurer), Tony Fogarty (Club Catalina, NSW) and Peter Lonergan* (Coolangatta & Tweed Heads GC, QLD). 

*Lonergan co-opted to Board in August 2011 following the resignation of Bryce Strachan in July 2011.

Conference: Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, SA (13-17 June, 2011)

 

President: Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA)

Board Members: Pat Pauli (Horton Park GC, QLD - Treasurer), Bryce Strachan (Pambula-Merimbula GC, NSW) and John Odell (Royal Sydney GC, NSW)

Conference: Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD (21-25 June, 2010)

     

2009-2010

 

2008-2009

President: Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA)

Board Members: Pat Pauli (Horton Park GC, QLD - Treasurer), Bryce Strachan (Pambula-Merimbula GC, NSW) and John Odell (Royal Sydney GC, NSW)

Conference: Hobart Convention Centre, Hobart, TAS (13-17 July 2009)

 

President: Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA)

Board Members: Pat Pauli (Horton Park GC, QLD - Treasurer), Bryce Strachan (Pambula-Merimbula GC, NSW) and John Odell (Royal Sydney GC, NSW)

Conference: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, VIC (21-25 July, 2008)

     

2007-2008

 

2006-2007

President: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD)

Board Members: Martyn Black (Castle Hill CC, NSW), Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA - Treasurer) and Pat Pauli (Horton Park GC, QLD)

Conference: Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, QLD (24-26 July, 2007)

 

President: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD)

Board Members: Jon Penberthy* (Tewantin Noosa GC, QLD - Treasurer), Martyn Black (Castle Hill CC, NSW), Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA) 

*Pat Pauli (Horton Park GC, QLD co-opted to AGCSA Board in February 2007 following the resignation of Jon Penberthy in February 2007. Allan Devlin becomes Treasurer.

Conference: Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, QLD (17-21 July 2006)

     

2005-2006

 

2004-2005

President: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD)

Board Members: Jon Penberthy (Tewantin Noosa GC, QLD - Treasurer), Martyn Black (Castle Hill CC, NSW), Allan Devlin (Secret Harbour GC, WA)

Conference: Moama Bowling Club, Moama, NSW (6-10 June 2005)

 

President: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD)

Board Members: Martyn Black (Castle Hill CC, NSW), Martin Greenwood* (Kingston Heath GC, VIC) and Jon Penberthy (Tewantin Noosa GC).

*Allan Devlin co-opted to the AGCSA Board following the resignation of Martin Greenwood early 2005.

Conference: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, VIC (21-25 June 2004)

     

2003-2004

 

2002-2003

President: Mark Couchman (Tewantin Noosa GC, QLD)

Board Members: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD), Martyn Black (Castle Hill CC, NSW) and Martin Greenwood (Kingston Heath GC, VIC - Treasurer)

Conference: Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, SA (23-27 June 2003)

 

President: Mark Couchman (Tewantin Noosa GC, QLD)

Board Members: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD), Robert MacDonald (Joondalup Resort, WA) and David Warwick (Avondale Golf Club, NSW - Treasurer)

Conference: Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, QLD (17-21 June 2002)

     

2001-2002

 

2000-2001

President: Mark Couchman (Tewantin Noosa GC, QLD)

Board Members: Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD), Robert MacDonald (Joondalup Resort, WA) and David Warwick (Avondale Golf Club, NSW - Treasurer)

2001 Conference: Sydney Convention Centre, Sydney, NSW (18-22 June 2001)

 

President: Peter Frewin (Barwon Heads Golf Club, VIC)

Board Members: Mark Couchman (Tewantin Noosa GC, QLD), Peter Schumacher (Elanora GC, NSW) and Jeff Gambin (Gold Coast Burleigh GC, QLD)

Conference: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, VIC (5-9 June 2000)