Heroes of VIP Hospitality: Andrew Minogue

Andrew Minogue has been the inaugural CEO of the Pacific Games Council (PGC) since 2007.  The PGC is the owner of the Pacific Games, which dates back to 1963 and is the Oceania region’s premier multi-sports event, similar to the Asian Games, European Games, All African Games and Pan-American Games in those other continental regions.  Currently based on the Gold Coast, Australia, Andrew has spent several years working on the event whilst residing in Samoa and also in New Caledonia, two spectacular but very different parts of the Pacific Islands.  

His first role in sport was at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Organising Committee which were followed with four years working for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee before moving to Samoa to join the Pacific Games movement.  Prior to the move to sport, Andrew studied Law and Accounting and was an Australian diplomat based in Kuala Lumpur.

The next Pacific Games will take place in the Solomon Islands in July 2023.

What was the first Live Event Hospitality programme that you attended, and what particular impressions did it make on you?

I visited a few of the VIP Hospitality lounges at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Some of them overlooked the field of play and I noticed many of the VIPs were more interested in chatting with each other than watching the event!

Other than your own, what is your favourite Live Event[s] that you would encourage everyone to book when it goes o sale, and what makes it so special?

I always love to attend matches with the Australian football team, the Socceroos, in World Cup qualifiers. The tension in those qualifying matches is always gripping and the euphoria after ultimate qualification is clinched is intoxicating.

Australia qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup by beating the former World Cup Champions Uruguay 

What was the most significant ‘Sliding Doors’ moment in your career, and how did this impact you?

At the end of 1998, I had the option to return from my posting in Kuala Lumpur to the Foreign Affairs Department headquarters in Canberra or take a chance on a two-year position at the Sydney Olympics with no guarantees of what would happen afterwards.  I chose the latter and have thoroughly enjoyed all the roles I have had since then. Had I not done so I may well be an Ambassador somewhere around the world right now!

If you had the option to experience/live in one music video which would it be and why?

AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll. It’s a brilliant anthem - the guitars, the bagpipes, all on the back of a flatbed truck passing through the streets of 1970s Melbourne.

First Impressions

What was your favourite televised live sport event or moment that you remember from childhood, why did it make such a lasting impression on you?

The Centenary Test cricket match held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1977. I was 7 years old and starting to follow a whole range of sports, including Cricket. We had just got a colour television at home and the result was the exactly same as the original test played 100 years earlier in 1877, Australia defeating England by 45 runs. Many of the players on both sides (Chappell, Lillee, Marsh + Brearley, Greig, Willis) went onto be heroes of mine over the next 5-6 years.

Who was playing at the first concert you attended, where and when, and what do you remember of the experience?

ZZ Top, Sydney Entertainment Centre in 1987.  I remember how loud the Texans’ guitars were and feeling free to be out on the town that night aged 17.

An audience recording of the same tour and the same loud guitars. 

What do you remember — across all genres — as the most emotional moment in television or film or a sporting event that has brought tears to your eyes

A film called Storm Boy from 1977, which is the first time I can remember going to the movies. It’s set on a remote Australian coastline where a young boy being raised by a harsh father befriends pelicans and an Aboriginal man. His favourite pelican gets shot by poachers which was very sad.

Trailer for Storm Boy after it was the classic film had been digitally restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

What was your first paying job and what impact, if any, did it have on you?

I had a newspaper delivery run when I was around 15 or 16. I remember the importance of counting change correctly and learning that being polite and smiling would improve my chances of receiving a tip!

Newspaper rounds in suburban Australia have always been a huge part of that country’s culture. This award-winning short feature documents a roller-blading ‘roundie’

How has your upbringing and family experiences shaped who you are today?

I had a great middle class Australian upbringing in the 1970s and 1980s.  My parents provided a good home to me and my two younger brothers and I went to good schools, was urged to study hard but always had time to play sport and make good friends.  I was lucky and that upbringing gave me the confidence to take chances with my career.

What tough experience or time did you have to endure that taught you the value of money?

We were in a fairly deep recession when I graduated from university at the end of 1992 and so to land my first professional job at the end of that year was actually not easy despite having very good qualifications. It gave me a really good appreciation that earning a salary is not be to be taken for granted.

Former Australian Treasurer and then Prime Minister Paul Keating remembers the early 1990s recession, in conversation with the ABC’s Kerry O’Brien.

If your 17-year-old self could see you now, what would he think and what advice would you pass back to your younger self?

He would not have even heard of some of the places that I eventually would live in and therefore I would tell my younger self that you really never know where life will take you and be ready to take opportunities as they come.


What's the best, most useful word from another language that you aren't fluent in?

Malo, (pronounced “Mah-Low”), which is a Samoan word which can mean hello or thank you.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC – I haven’t ever done sung it but that’s what I would aim for if my voice could handle all the screaming!

What is the worst experience you have ever had on any form of transport?

Being stuck on a stalled un-air-conditioned train at the height of an Australian summer in my youth was no fun.

What was the new technology or device that you immediately understood was going to be life-changing and how has it impacted your life?

I saw e-mail for the first time at the beginning of 1993 when I commenced at the Australian Foreign Affairs department. I immediately saw how quick and easy it would make corresponding, but did not realise it would develop an ability to take over one’s daily work life!

What should every person running for elected office be compelled to answer truthfully?

The names of all major donors to their campaign so that the public knows who is financially supporting them and can make a judgement as to why.

What are the best books you've read in the past year?

Tell Me Why by Archie Roach, an Australian indigenous singer who was removed from his family as a young boy by government separation policies; A Promised Land by President Barack Obama

What are the three most rewarding podcasts, newspapers apps, or IG, YouTube and Twitter accounts you follow and why?

Apps: ABC (Australia) and the BBC (U.K.)

Twitter: various New York Times writers – I like following the news of the world but without excessive amounts of opinion attached to it

Tell us something even your colleagues might not know about you...

That I am left-handed. No one writes with a pen anymore!

What non-curriculum subject(s) should be required for anyone leaving school or university to understand fully before they enter the workforce?

Budgeting and how to plan your life financially so that once you enter the workforce and start earning serious money you have an idea of how best to use it.


What is your worst habit?

Procrastinating when I have a task to do that is not urgent!

During this lock-down what are the things you've come to value most by their absence from your life and how will you put that right when this is over?

The personal friendships and face-to-face interactions with the many colleagues who I work with throughout the Pacific Islands and around the world. When we can all safely meet again, I will be sure to really cherish every single occasion with them.

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