Mar 19, 2019, 22:35 PM

The grass is definitely greener for Citywide apprentice Nathan Andrews, who has scooped a prestigious award for his commitment to the razor-sharp art of sports turf management.

Nathan was named the Sports Turf Association of Australia’s Victorian Graduate of the Year, after completing a Certificate III in Sports Turf Management as part of a four-year apprenticeship with Citywide’s North West Melbourne Open Space team.

The 24-year old will now go into the running for the title of Australian Sports Turf Graduate of the Year, to be announced at the Toro National Sports Fields and Grounds Forum in Brisbane in June.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Nathan. “Before I was nominated I would never have thought of going in for this kind of thing – but it’s a great honour and I’ve realised it’s going to be awesome for my career.

“If I’m lucky enough to win the national award, it could set me up for a job pretty much anywhere in the world. It’s pretty cool, and definitely good for my resumé!”

Nathan was nominated for the Victorian award by his teacher at Melbourne Polytechnic, where he’s been studying the finer arts of sports turf management for a week every month since joining Citywide in January 2016.

The rest of the time, he’s been part of a team looking after 55 sports grounds in the City of Whittlesea, under North West Municipal Operations Leader, Brett Francescutti.

“I’m really happy for Nathan; he’s come so far these past three years and he totally deserves this award,” said Brett. “In fact, the whole leadership group is delighted – it feels like a little bit of us has been represented in his work!”

With the end of the Whittlesea contract, Nathan has now moved on to Melton, where he’ll qualify from his apprenticeship and begin a new role managing the turf at 25 AFL, cricket and soccer grounds.

“He’ll have more responsibility managing different surfaces and working independently with his own vehicle,” says Brett. “But he’s proven to all of us that he’s ready for the challenge.

“In Whittlesea, we threw Nathan in at the deep end, but he’s got the type of personality to give everything a go and always do the best he can. He’s proven that he can take care of pretty much any sports surface – and there’s not many fourth-year apprentices you can say that about!”


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Media contact:           
Simon Mossman, Group Corporate Communications – Citywide
M 0427 307 216

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