Mark Squirrell OAM
Travels from: Victoria
Explore the principles of leadership, resilience and communication
Categories: Adventure & Challenge, Change Management, Leadership, Motivational Speakers, Team Building
Full Presenter Profile & Bio
From car bombings to meeting Yasser Arafat and making it to the summit of Mount Everest, Mark ‘Squiz’ Squirrell OAM has experienced more than many can dream about. When he 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.
Squiz 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 an International Aid Worker.
From escorting food convoys through the Gaza Strip, negotiating with the Liberation Tigers of Tamel Eelam (Tamil Tigers) and brokering deals with Somali Clansmen to ensure the safe delivery of United Nations food aid, Squiz has mastered the challenges of performing under pressure, communicating effectively and building relationships.
Using anecdotes and real time scenarios, Squiz demands lateral thinking and delivers 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, Squiz 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, Squiz 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.
Squiz holds a Bachelor of Business (HRM) and has published a memoir titled ‘From Arafat to Everest’.
In 2019, Squiz 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, such as the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa and 2015 Nepal Earthquake.
Squiz 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's Speaking Topics include:
- 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.
- Virtual Reality Experience - Experience first-hand the challenges and rewards of working in war zones and climbing Everest. Up to 80 VR goggles are available, larger audiences would need to be staggered.
- Team Building Activities - High pressure situations are recreated inside or outside your conference room to build your team. These are tailored to suit your objectives and can be used to enhance a Keynote presentation.
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
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
Squiz was fantastic! A really strong, engaging presentation and Q&A that was truly inspirational and landed the key messages for the team to take away really succinctly. He delivered very strongly against the theme / messages brief provided prior to the session. He has an amazing story to tell which inspired the team to think bigger. We are in the midst of a post conference survey and Squiz presentation has received a 4.8 out of 5 across all participant responses – Definitely one of the highlights of the conference! I personally will be recommending Squiz to others – not only a great guest speaker, but a bloody good guy!
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
The 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.
Indigo Shire Council
Amazing presenter, kept the audience intrigued!