Mal Meninga

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Mal Meninga needs little introduction in the region, having been entered into the Rugby League Hall of Fame and scoring the most points of any player wearing the green and gold jersey. We find out more about this football legend’s amazing career and his upcoming visit to Armidale on December 8 to represent the Cavalier Corporation.

You recently accepted the position as coach for QLD State of Origin team? 

Yes. I have just secured a three-year contract to 2011 with the Queensland Rugby League to be the Head Coach of the QLD State of Origin program. 

I am really excited about the potential success of the current crop of players that Queensland has at its disposal. Some of the most exciting players in the game are Queenslanders. 

I would like to be in charge to hopefully ensure we maximise this potential, after working very hard to retain the State of Origin shield after many years of NSW dominance.

> How did it feel to become a recipient of the Order Of Australia Medal? 

It was a huge thrill for my family and me. A total shock and humbling experience. It is always satisfying when you receive recognition for effort. 

The day itself at the Government House went well, as the Governor General presented all the recipients with their awards.

> What did you love most about wearing the green and gold? 

Knowing that you’re representing your country at the elite level and the responsibility and expectation that comes with that. The National Rugby League team has a reputation of invincibility, which is a lot to live up to. 

It is an enjoyable and rewarding experience being able to handle the pressure and prevail over your competitors.

> What is your fondest memory from your amazing football career? 

Other than playing in representative games for your country or for Queensland, the thrill of being a member of a Grand Final winning team. My fondest memory was when the Canberra Raiders won their first ever premiership against the Balmain Tigers in 1989 at the Sydney Football Stadium. The Raiders were the underdogs and became the first team outside of Sydney to win the flag. 

We had to win nine games straight to make it, and after being behind for most of the game, we won the game in extra time. Individually, it was a personal milestone because I had to endure four broken arms over the preceding 18 months and not many players throughout their careers manage to be part of a winning premiership team. Canberra actually grew a soul that day!

> Tell us about your involvement with the Cavalier Corporation?

Through mutual interests in Rugby League from Canberra I got to know the management team at Cavalier. I have always been interested in the construction industry, and when I moved back to Brisbane I began working for the Cavalier Group in a variety of areas within their divisions. I have found them very easy to work with and liked the way they conducted business dealings with their clients.

The corporation is able to work with clients throughout the whole process of home ownership, from land acquisition, home design with seasoned financial assistance and maintenance of their homes – the ultimate one stop shop! 

Their home designs are state of the art, and I am particularly impressed with the attention to detail of their finishes.

The Cavalier Groups buying power is also an attraction, with top end inclusions always part of their serviceability. Through my association with them over the past five years, I have now become a partner in the Cavalier Developments division, which the Armidale project is part of. 

I am also heavily involved and a shareholder in the steel built Kit Homes division of the company.

> Will you be attending the special first home buyer’s seminar here in Armidale? 

I will be attending the seminar in Armidale as part of our official opening of Ben Venue Estate on the 7th and 8th of December 2008. I believe it is a very exciting time, especially for first homebuyers with all the incentives given by both Federal and State Governments. 

Also, with interest rates lowering, the time is right for investment into the residential sector again. Ben Venue Estate is of the highest quality and one of the premium sub-divisions in Armidale – particularly with its proximity to the centre of town. 

There are some attractive reasons why Armidale is a popular area to either invest in or become an owner/occupier. Some of the drawcards are: recent commercial developments, access to a great university, the gold mine reopening, and availability of water or ‘oasis change’ lifestyle, to name a few. 

> Where are Cavalier Homes located?

There will be new construction on site, with several homes being built from early in the new year. Cavalier have numerous franchisees around the state, with new Display Home openings happening shortly in Tamworth, Port Macquarie, and in the Coffs region.

If anyone is visiting the S.E. Queensland corner soon, there are several sites both south and north of Brisbane, as well as in the Toowoomba areas. All you need to do is go to their website and you’ll find all there is needed to know.

> Your plans for the future? 

I have a few business interests that I am currently working with. I have been involved in the fruit and vegetable industry for the last four years and am in partnership, having three stores in Brisbane under the Mal Meninga Fresh banner as well. I would like to slowly grow this business over the next few years.

As I have stated, I am heavily involved with the Cavalier Group and see a lot of opportunity in developments. I am very excited about the potential growth of the owner builder and the factory manufactured homes market, as it becomes more difficult to build in regional and remote areas because of skill shortages and associated building difficulties.

> Thank you Mal.

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