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TAFE NSW graduate growing career at Queensland Country Bank Stadium


A top stadium groundsperson has successfully pivoted his career in the in-demand greenkeeping industry, after studying at TAFE NSW.

The greenkeeping industry is set to grow by 1,400 jobs by 2026, and TAFE NSW is delivering a pipeline of workers to the sector through its sports turf management courses.

Adam McNeill grew up on the NSW south coast and studied horticulture at TAFE NSW about 20 years ago. As an apprentice, he worked at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium, before returning to the south coast to work for local councils.

“I then followed my mentor Bruce Fouracre up to Townsville to work at the city’s old 1300SMILES Stadium, before transitioning to the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium and have had amazing experiences preparing the venue for everything from Cowboys matches and the State of Origin game in 2021, to Pink’s concerts this year,” Mr McNeill said.

To ensure longevity in the industry, in recent years Mr McNeill looked to grow his skills.

“The further into my career I travelled, I recognised I needed a Diploma in Sports Turf Management qualification to transition to managerial roles and grow my career as I get older,” Mr McNeill said.

 “I returned to study, originally in Victoria; but due to complications during the COVID-19 pandemic, I returned to TAFE NSW and completed my studies.

“I now have the practical and theoretical skills needed to pivot my career in this industry as a Senior Groundsperson at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.”

 Mr McNeill said the diploma has helped boost his contribution to the success of the world-class stadium.

“I’m now taking on more responsibility, I’ve enhanced my time management skills, and now have deeper insights into the managerial duties that are required to effectively coordinate the care of the arena surface at a major stadium,” he said.

Head Teacher of Sports Turf Management at TAFE NSW, Ian Clarke, said the organisation is delivering skilled groundspeople to the industry.

“Through the Diploma of Sports Turf Management program, we ensure our students are equipped with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge they need to get the job they want - whether that be at a local golf course, or at top-level venues like Queensland Country Bank Stadium,” Mr Clarke said.

“It’s pleasing to see Adam continue to succeed in the industry, having returned to TAFE NSW to diversify his skills and pivot his career direction in sports turf management.”

Mr McNeill is an advocate for more people studying sports turf management to meet the industry’s demand for workers.

“It is a fascinating career and I find it rewarding and satisfying,” he said.

“Turf is a living organism, and we keep asking so much of it; but when you can walk away and look at the product we’ve produced for an event, whether that be an NRL game or a concert, that’s when you get that sense of achievement.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to work in a new, major stadium. There are only a handful of venues of this calibre in Australia, so I take very seriously the responsibility of creating a product that’ll be viewed by thousands of people.”


Media contact: Rob Virtue, Communications Specialist,