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Golf star and businessman Greg Norman presents at UOW Global Leaders Lunch

UOW hosted champion golfer and international businessman Greg Norman AO at the latest of its Global Leaders lunches today (October 11).

Mr Norman, a two-times British Open winner who was world number one golfer for 331 weeks at the peak of his career, has been described as golf’s greatest businessman.

He heads a global business empire that markets a range of golf clothing and equipment under his famous Shark brand. He is also a celebrated golf course designer, having designed more than 100 courses in 34 countries around the world.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Strategy) Professor Alex Frino, who hosted the lunch as part of the University’s ongoing business engagement initiatives and promotion of entrepreneurialism, said Mr Norman’s visit to Wollongong was too good an opportunity to miss.

“Our vision for these Global Leaders events is to engage people who are genuine leaders in their field. By any measure, as a sportsman, as an entrepreneur and as a businessman, Greg Norman fits that description, and it is a great honour to have him visit our Wollongong campus,” Professor Frino said.

Mr Norman visited Wollongong today to inspect progress on his latest Australian course, the Silkari Resort @ Avondale. The course is the centrepiece of a $400 million$1.02 billion redevelopment of the former Huntley Colliery site by the Visionary Investment Group (VIG).

At the Global Leaders lunch, Mr Norman told an audience of regional and national business leaders about his vision for the golf course, on a site that he considers “perfect” for a golf course, and plans for a Greg Norman Golf Academy as part of the development.

Mr Norman said his experience with developments of this scale in Australia and overseas was that it would have a major economic impact on the region, in the construction phase and through long-term employment opportunities in the hotel and on the course.

Professor Frino said he was excited about the potential of the Silkari Resoirt@Avondale project for the Illawarra economy and is having discussions with Michael Guo and the Visionary Investment Group about how the University might be able to work with them.

This visit comes just two weeks after UOW hosted His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York, for the global entrepreneurship event Pitch @ Palace and the launch of the University’s Global Leaders Education and Development (GoLEaD) Program, which is designed to prepare tomorrow’s business leaders.

Greg Norman collage