To celebrate, we are thrilled to announce our FINAL round of outstanding panellists who will be joining us on the day as part of our Women in Golf Careers Showcase.
Bringing experience from a wide range of areas of the golf industry, Damon Lonnie of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club will join Nicci Herrera from the Women’s Golf Magazine on our panel. Additionally, Sandhurst Club’s Jon Abbott and Suzanne Burns of the PGA Institute will offer their thoughts on creating a rewarding career in golf.
Read on to meet our panellists!
Damon Lonnie (General Manager, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club)
General Manager at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club since August 2021, Damon has worked in club management for nearly 30 years, having started as an assistant manager at the Southern Golf Club in 1995. In his time in the golf industry, Damon has managed the Croydon Golf Club and oversaw the club’s relocation to the Yarra Valley. He also spent 11 years at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth. During his time there, the club hosted 7 Australasian and European Tour events and he helped to transform the club’s food and beverage offering, including the construction of a contemporary dining space known as the Grill.
Additionally, Damon has held numerous voluntary roles including being a member of the executive of Golf Management Victoria, State President in Western Australia and the President of Golf Management Australia. Damon has spoken at a number of conferences on the topic of the state of the game, both in Australia and overseas.
Nicci Herrera (Published and commercial director, Women’s Golf Magazine)
Nicci is a true female serial entrepreneur. She is part of a group of an increasing number of driven women shaking things up in beauty, business and golf. Although Nicci remains a beginner on the green, her drive for growing the sport for females saw her acquire Ladies Golf Magazine which she has revamped and modernised into Women’s Golf. Nicci is also the founder and brains behind Tee Meet – an app currently in pre launch – which aims to create the largest community of golfers in Australia, from the social player to the pro. Through her business communities, Nicci hopes to inspire, educate and nurture the next generation of females with a passion for golf.
Jon Abbott (Golf and sport manager, Sandhurst Club)
Jon started playing golf at Mornington Golf Club at the age of 9, before progressing to state representative level; playing for Victoria and was in the Victorian Institute of Sport for 2 years in the early 2000’s. In 2005, he turned professional and played the Australian and Canadian Tours for three years before deciding to complete a traineeship and move into golf administration. He completed his traineeship at Kingswood Golf Club and took over as Director of Golf in his final year. Part of the Peninsula Kingswood merger process from start to finish, he was Director of Sport at the new site throughout the process. After 12 years at Peninsula Kingswood, he moved across Sandhurst as Golf and Sport Manager, in a role that is involved at executive management level.
Suzanne Burns (PGA Institute Manager)
Having spent the past 20 years in training and education, Suzanne joined the PGA Institute as the Manager in November 2021, when the Institute relocated from the Gold Coast to Melbourne.
Suzanne is an advocate for career development and workplace learning and has held previous roles as a Training Coordinator and General Manager within private training organisations. Suzanne has assisted the delivery of training programs both in Australia and overseas.
Currently serving on the board of Box Hill Golf Club and an avid golfer, Suzanne brings both a passion for the golf industry and experience within the education sector to her role. Suzanne is committed to the development of inclusive training programs that will assist students achieve their career goals.