Mal Meninga AM, the head coach of the Australian National Rugby League team, and one of the most distinguished players of the game, will deliver the keynote at the 2018 Pub Leaders Summit.

“I’m excited by it, it should be fun! I’m a big fan of the pub industry, I must confess,” stated Meninga.

With a professional sports coaching career going back two decades and spanning the Canberra Raiders, the Queensland State of Origin team and guiding the Australian team since 2016 – Meninga will discuss how to manage, lead and encourage staff towards optimal results, using examples from his playing and coaching career in the NRL.

“I’ll discuss my experiences in the game of Rugby League, and the reasons why I do the things I do today, including coaching the national side.”

Meninga also recently launched Big Mal’s First Grade, a range of meat products and sauces for both the consumer and foodservice markets. As the local hub of sports fundraising and viewing, Meninga has always appreciated the role of the local pub in getting grassroots sports off the ground, and felt this range to be a natural fit.

“I understand how important the industry is to sport. Pubs have been huge contributors to individual sports teams. Particularly when I was growing up, the only sponsor a team had was its local pub. It’s a great environment too.”

Big Mal’s will also be exhibiting at the Pub Leaders Summit, so that attendees can taste test the range themselves, and meet Meninga.

“We’re going to cook a barbecue for you all, so you can try the meats and sauces. Hopefully everyone enjoys it!”

Meninga joins the 2018 line-up that also includes Jackie Booth (Zagames), Annette Verhoeff (Red Rock Leisure), Brad Jenkins (Lewisland Group) and Ray Reilly (Reilly Group).

The Pub Leaders Summit will be held on Monday 19 March at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. More information and ticket registration can be found at

Pub Leaders Summit timetable

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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