John O'Neill

Australia - NSW

Specialty Areas

Former CEO Australian Rugby Union, Former CEO Socceroos, State Bank of NSW.

John O'Neill has created success running three major organisations in banking and in international sports where mass
entertainment and broad community participation are essential features. He speaks with authority on the common elements
exemplified in the experience across banking and sport - in doing so imparting important lessons on management, teamwork and
strategic direction.

Between 1987 and 1995, John O'Neill guided the State Bank of NSW through the problem loan experience that afflicted all
Australian banks in the late eighties, introduced an innovative form of home lending that changed the Australian market for home loans. He actively pushed and
promoted the successful sale of the bank to get its ownership into the private sector.  John O'Neill also established and nurtured First State Funds Management within the State Bank, an entity that became a high performing funds manager both within the Bank and subsequently within the
Commonwealth Bank Group as Colonial First State.  John was appointed CEO of Australian Rugby Union in October 1995, at the start of the professional era.
Over eight years he transformed the sport in Australia from one run by amateurs to one with genuine professional management. In doing so, he established practices that other top Rugby nations sought to emulate, establishing Australia as an international Rugby power and, for much of his tenure, with the Wallabies clearly the best in the world. He took the ARU from being a financially bereft organisation to one with strong commercial revenue and a sound asset base.
During this period John fought for and won the right to host the Rugby World Cup 2003 wholly within Australia and then conducted the immensely successful tournament. As an Australian sporting event in terms of value and world standing it has only been exceeded by the Olympics.

While running ARU John O'Neill established and implemented programs that almost doubled the size of Rugby participation in Australia.  John O'Neill joined the Football Federation Australia, in March 2004 and established the very successful A-League. He took the Socceroos to the World Cup for the first time in over 30 years, and beyond the pool round of the World Cup for the first time ever. Under his guidance FFA revenue rapidly grew to make the
organisation more sustainable.

John O'Neill speaker

Speaker Video

Other speakers you might like:

Mark Readings

Mark Readings is one of the state's most respected journalists, presenters and MCs, having spent 35 years in the media industry.

In 2003 Mark was presented with a Logie Award and a Walkley Award for his coverage of the Bali bombings. He was one of the survivors, having been in the Sari Club and inside Paddy's Bar during the first explosion. It's a remarkable story nearly 20 years later.

Cody Simpson

Popstar Cody Simpson made international headlines for his stunning return to swimming. The international recording artist qualified for his first international competition at the Commonwealth Games only two years after returning to the pool. Cody qualified for the finals of the 100m butterfly and won a gold and silver medal for his heat swims in the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay respectively. 

Peter Bol

Peter Bol will inspire your audience with his inspirational stories & personal experiences from his athletic career. He talks about consistency, goal setting, productivity, resilience, confidence & the power of sports psychology.

Emma McKeon

With 11 Olympic Games Medals and 20 Commonwealth Games Medals to her name, Emma McKeon is not only one of the greatest swimmers of all time, but the most decorated Olympian, and one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen.

Back to Top