Mark “Squiz” Squirrell OAM
Commando, Humanitarian Aid Worker & Everest Summiteer
Mark “Squiz” Squirrell OAM is a man that has done it all! From car bombings to meeting Yasser Arafat and climbing big mountains in the Himalayas, Mark has experienced more than many of us can dream about. Awarded the coveted Green Beret in his role as a Commando with the Australian Special Forces he burned with a passion to put his skills to good use.
Mark has worked across the globe as a Humanitarian Aid Worker in war zones such as Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan. His emergency work has also taken him head-first into natural disasters such as the Nepal Earthquake and Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. In 2006, whilst posted to Nepal during the Maoist Insurgency, Mark took leave and summited Mount Everest to raise awareness of global hunger. Fasten your seatbelts, as this will be a ride to remember!
More about Mark “Squiz” Squirrell:
When Mark headed to the East Timor Crisis in 1999 he was setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. It was a journey that would see him navigate some of the globes most brutal war zones to deliver emergency aid and conquer the world’s tallest mountain.
Mark was awarded the coveted “Green Beret” whilst serving with the Australian Commando’s. His tenure with the military provided him with the skills and courage to succeed amongst adversity and turmoil. It was the perfect grounding for a career as a Humanitarian Aid Worker.
Mark escorted food convoys through the Gaza Strip, negotiated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamel Eelam (Tamil Tigers) and brokered deals with Somali Clansmen to ensure the safe delivery of United Nations food aid. In doing so, he has mastered the challenges of performing under pressure, communicating effectively and building relationships.
Mark uses anecdotes and presents real time scenarios that demand lateral thinking to deliver relevant and practical tips for those working in today’s complex and fluid global market. The real time conundrums are presented via authentic video, Virtual Reality goggles and photos that have the audience embroiled in the critical decision making that led to his eventual success.
In addition to this, Mark has taken the concept of being motivated at work to an all new high. He was inspired by his organisation, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the impoverished people that it feeds, to climb to the top of the world to help raise awareness of the global hunger crisis. After a gruelling six week ordeal, Mark raised the WFP flag on the summit of Mount Everest. The inspiring and thrilling recount across glaciers and up exposed cliffs reveal the motivation, habits and adversity skills that facilitated his success.
Mark has a Bachelor of Business (HRM) and has published a memoire titled From Arafat to Everest. In 2019 Mark was recognised in the Australia Day Honours List with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for “service to the international community through humanitarian aid”. He continues to deploy on short term assignments to emergency zones with the United Nations.
Now based out of Melbourne, Mark provides keynotes, workshops and team building activities to develop workplace performance. Unique footage played through Virtual Reality goggles guarantee that your staff will have a life-like, high impact and unforgettable experience!
Mark “Squiz” Squirrell talks about:
Chaos and Culture – How cross cultural teams from the United Nations overcome chaos in the world’s most challenging hotspots.
Everest Extreme Teams – maximising your team’s talent to smash your opposition.
Ebola Outbreak (ie Change) – managing risk and emotions to create excitement around the challenge of the unknown road ahead.
Building Resilience – Succeeding during turbulent times and in unpredictable environments.
Motivating Teams – how to get your team to climb the organisations “Everest”.
Extreme Leadership – Strategic leading to ensure a unified and collaborative effort at all levels.
Corporate Social Responsibility – maximising CSR results and using it as a motivational tool for your workforce.
Effective Communication – Opening up the channels that maximise communication and create unity amongst team members.
Negotiating Under Pressure – Conversational and behavioural tactics used on the battlefield to negotiate access and save lives.
Maximising Diversity – Using diversity to build powerful teams.
Oh my goodness! He was amazing. You were absolutely right….he was inspiring, funny and truly had the audience captivated! I actually have one of our franchisees in Melbourne thinking about booking him for another event!
Feedback from staff has been very positive. Mark was excellent and was able to link key messages to our training and PD day. Very informative session.
-Mentone Grammar School
Amazing presenter, kept the audience intrigued!
....it was a pleasure to have you take us all on a journey to some places far removed from our daily work lives, but none the less relevant. The scenario exercise in particular provided our staff with a great opportunity to problem solve using some basic tools that operate at a very human level, something I know the team valued and made for great discussion the next day as we continued to work with these principles.
Mark has an uncanny presentation style that had the audience move from the serious realities of global poverty to a series of light hearted and at times humorous anecdotes. The audience came away with knowledge but at the same time were entertained and inspired by marks remarkable journey with the United Nations. Our committee was most impressed and would recommend him to others who are considering his services.
-Anti Poverty Week NT
Our guest speaker, Mark "Squiz" Squirrel (OAM) was great. He was exceptionally engaging and wonderful to deal with. He was very generous with his time and mingled among our guests which really added to his address and the experience of the event overall.
-Committee for Greater Shepparton
All delegates at the Forum were impressed with his story and the relevance to what we as an industry are trying to achieve. Mark's story and the way he presented it uplifted all of us to new heights.
-Australian Egg Corporation Limited
The executive team at Indigo was very energized by your presentation to the group. Hearing your stories about working as a team in times of adversity, allowed us to draw some terrific parallels to how we can work closely together as a cohesive unit under difficult circumstances.