Mr John Eales AM, Mettle Group
The University of Queensland
Mr John Eales participated in two successful Rugby World Cup campaigns, captained the Wallabies in memorable victories including the 1999 World Cup, led Australia through three Bledisloe Cup wins and two successful seasons of Tri-Nations fixtures and he also led the Wallabies to the first ever defeat of the British and Irish Lions. Mr Eales has been, and continues to be, a great ambassador for rugby. A genial nature and natural leadership qualities have made Mr Eales one of the most respected figures in world rugby.
His retirement from rugby in September 2001 marked the end of an era for the Australian game and tributes flooded in from far and wide. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said, “I wish to record my admiration for the magnificent contribution that John Eales has made to the game of rugby, and to Australian and international sport. John Eales has been an inspirational leader, an outstanding and courageous player and an example to all in the way he has conducted himself on and off the field.” In 2002, the ARU launched a prestigious award to honour the game's best Wallaby player each season, known as The John Eales Medal.
Following retirement, Mr Eales embarked on a new journey in the corporate world. He developed the John Eales 5 brand, now trading as International Quarterback in corporate hospitality and event management. Mr Eales is also a consultant to BT Financial Group, a Director of the Sports Australia Hall of Fame and a Fairfax columnist.
In 2004, Mr Eales attended the Athens Olympics as an Athlete Liaison Officer for the Australian Team. He will repeat this role at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Mr Eales is a founding partner of Mettle Group, a company which works with organisations and their staff around the issues of organisational culture and strategy. Many corporations seeking to provide their leaders with an edge have used Mr Eales' insight into leadership and teams. Mettle has recently been acquired by publicly-listed company Chandler MacLeod and Mr Eales will continue in his leadership role across both businesses.
Mr Eales also recently released Learning from Legends, a book profiling the leadership lessons and experiences of Australian sporting identities. The book is the first of the Learning from Legends Series.