Sir Graham Lowe has forged a reputation that transcends his position as a football coach and rugby league icon. From a sport which places a premium on macho image and physical rather than emotional prowess, Graham has moved beyond traditional masculine boundaries to appeal to a broad cross-section of New Zealand society, well outside the game of rugby league.
Graham founded the Lowie Foundation which uses Lowie’s 12 Dynamic Principles to deliver a literacy and numeracy programme to 12 -19 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2018 Graham started working with the Department of Corrections New Zealand and developed the Kick for the Seagulls programme which uses sporting language to teach people in prison reading, writing and maths.
In recognition of his contribution to New Zealand, in 2019 he was knighted for his services to youth and education. Due to the immense success of Graham’s works with Corrections’ he was awarded Department of Corrections 2018 Partner of the Year and in 2019 became the first Corrections wing patron for a graduating cohort. In 1986 Graham was awarded and presented by HM Queen Elizabeth II the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community of New Zealand. He was also the subject of a This is Your Life documentary in 1993.
Graham began his coaching career in New Zealand in the late 1970s before rising to prominence at the helm of Brisbane Norths. He was the Kiwis' national coach from 1983-86, Coach of Wigan from 1986-1989 and then spent three years at Manly (1990-92) and a season at North Queensland (1996).
He is admired for his honesty, integrity and loyalty to this country; and he enjoys enormous respect for his achievements as a coach in the toughest rugby league competitions in the world. This latter aspect of Graham's ability has captured the attention of many in the New Zealand business community. They readily recognise the parallels between business and sport, and understand there are many lessons for the corporate world to learn from top sporting endeavour.
New Zealand has seen Graham Lowe develop from a coaching tyro at club level in the suburbs of Auckland, through to the mentor of the national team and then the guiding hand behind several of the most famous rugby league clubs in the world. There remains an element of mystique about Graham's role at this level; yet his reputation as a communicator, team-builder and motivator is now second-to-none in this country.
Many would value the opportunity to learn how a down-to-earth Kiwi, armed with the attributes of energy, dedication and innovation, reached the top in such a competitive world.
In October 1998, with partners the Tainui Maori Trust Board and Sky City, Graham Lowe and Auckland businessman Malcolm Boyle bought the Auckland Warriors, making them the first New Zealand sports team to be owned by private investors. In 2000 their fellow board members controversially dumped Lowe and Boyle.
Graham's personal tribulations have added a further dimension to his remarkable story - and one that has wide appeal. The major health problems Graham has suffered, and the way he has dealt with them, have stamped him as a special individual at a personal and emotional level. This aspect of his life has moved beyond the sporting arena, firmly into the domain of general human interest. Graham has written two autobiographies, namely Lowe and Behold and Dreams Die Hard.
Graham incorporates aspects of both personal and professional experiences into his presentations, that reflect the very nature of this man - hard-hitting, down-to-earth, yet compassionate, realistic and results driven. Relevant messages for people involved with people!
Graham Lowe is a straight shooter who's achieved much success in sports and business before overcoming considerable health problems. Our audience warmed to his often humorous story of how ev ... keep readingents in his own life changed his views on what it means to be a success. Event Producer, EMA
Gave [the audience] a wonderful insight into teamwork and team management ... they are still talking about it.
Exceeded expectations - his personable and humble approach underpinned an excellent appreciation of the desired message. The audience quickly warmed to Mr Lowe and post conference reports indicate his presentation was the highlight of the day.
The audience loved every minute of Graham's presentation. It exceeded our expectations and gave them examples of how to 'think outside the square'.
Graham read the crowd extremely well and delivered on the messages we were trying to convey to our members. He was entertaining, engaging and emotive. He was also happy to attend our gala dinner and mix with the members which was received extremely well and added an extra element to the evening.