Joe Galuvao

Joe Galuvao debuted his rugby career and played with the Auckland Warriors from 1998 – 2000. He also represented Samoa in the 2000 rugby league world cup and New Zealand in its international team in 2003. He won two grand final permierships: one with the Penrith Panthers in 2003 and one with the Manly Sea Eagles in 2011. IN 2013, Joe Galuvao retired from the professional rugby league and he later became an NRL Ambassador from 2015 – 2017. In 2018, he became the NRL Community Program Deliverer.

Q: What year did you graduate from James Cook High?
A: 1996

Q: What was your favourite subject in high school?
A: History & PE

Q: Who was your favourite teacher, and why?
A: Norma Lavell, my PE teacher.

Norma Lavell, on top of being an outstanding teacher, was great for me personally because she saw my potential and invested her time in me and in others.

Q: Do you have a favourite memory from your time at James Cook?
A: I have a lot of great memories and mostly  of the friendships I made with students and teachers but for me, being awarded the Dux Ludorum and also the James Cook High School Trophy in my final year was definitely a highlight. I say this because looking back I like to think I made the most of my time when I was at school, though I wasn’t perfect I tried to be a good person and lead by example, and the awards hopefully reflected externally what I aspired to be internally.

Q: What did you do after graduation?
A: I was fortunate enough to be a part of the NZ Warriors at the time and so was involved in the first grade squad after I had graduated. I made my debut in 1998, and spent 15 years as a professional rugby league player in the NRL.

Q: What is your career now?
A: I finished in the NRL in 2013 and now, I’m employed at the NRL working in the Community Space, delivering educational and aspirational programs. I am a Youth Worker and I studied whilst I was playing. I am so very lucky to still be involved in the game but in a space that I am passionate about.

Q: Did your time at James Cook High put you on that career path?
A: Yes it did. Again, I wasn’t perfect, but I was blessed to have good support of teachers and students that encouraged me to be the best version of myself, which gave a good foundation to have had the successes that I did.

Q: Do you have any advice for current James Cook High students?
A: Its cliché, but I don’t know any other way to reach for your goals but HARD WORK and being CONSISTENT. Not only being consistent in your work ethic but also in living out your values and beliefs. They say “You are what you repeatedly do” so from my experience, you will be formidable person if you can apply those two things to your life.