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Mark Squirrell (OAM)

Create an experience with Mark Squirrell (OAM)

Extreme Sports/Keynote Speaker

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About me

  • Extreme Sports
  • Sport
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Professional

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!


  • Green Beret Commando
  • Mount Everest Summiteer
  • Awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the International Community


  • Served as an officer with the Australian Special Forces 
  • Worked across the globe for NGO's and the United Nations World Food Programme as a humanitarian aid worker
  • Climbed multiple mountains in the Himalayas, including a successful climb on Mount Everest in 2006 
  • Author - From Arafat to Everest 


Keynote Presentations

  • Squiz takes the audience on a journey to explore what it takes to become a member of the Australian Special Forces, work across the globe for the United Nations as an aid worker and summit Mt Everest
  • The presentation is interactive with the audience embroiled in the time-critical and potentially life-threatening decision points in environments such as Somalia, the Gaza Strip and Mount Everest.
  • Sessions are tailored to ensure client objectives are aligned with the key messages.

Team Building Activities 

  • Sessions can range from workshops inside a conference room to outdoor challenges.  Every activity is designed to suit the audience size, budget and objectives.
  • The activities may involve life-like simulations to stress teams, the use of Virtual Reality equipment to recreate scenarios such as a hostile situation that Squiz faced in the Gaza Strip or Leadership/Team Workshops.
  • Are you up for the challenge?  It will be a day, or two, or three, that you won't forget!


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 Squirrell, aka 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 in adversity and turmoil. It was the perfect grounding for a career as an International Aid Worker. Squiz 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. 

Squiz 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. 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 and 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. 

Squiz’s book, “From Arafat to Everest” has had a second edition released. As an addition to the keynotes he provides, clients can have a take-home book to gain further insights into the life of an extraordinary man.

See Squiz in action below!

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Mark was sooooo good! He was so positive and made the team think about how they want to move forward. We have had a bit of adversity lately which has tied in with Mark’s story and I think that rather than give up/jump ship we will stay put and do the best we can with the resources we have.
Tanya Chalmers - McConnell Dowell Constructors
Absolutely outstanding, absolutely perfect fit for our group, absolutely engaging. Squiz was everything you assured me he would be to fit the unique nature of our team at this challenging time. Squiz did lift us up and challenged us to look at situations differently and strategically.
Jo Wilson, Caring For You, Chief Operating Officer
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 I provided prior to the session. He has an amazing story to tell which inspired the team to think bigger. I personally will be recommending Squiz to others - not only a great guest speaker but a bloody good guy!
Sian Sullivan, PZ Cussons
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.
Brendan McGrath, Indigo Shire Council, CEO
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!
Liz Taylor, Business Development Manager, Kip McGrath
Mark was a fantastic presenter who was able to engage our year 12 students with his life experiences of making difficult decisions, showing resilience & perseverance, and setting achievable goals. We would highly recommend Mark as a keynote speaker for any audience looking to instil a growth mindset in their audience.
Ben Johnson, Lara Secondary College
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. I have recommended this service to a number of people and I will continue to do so. We will definitely be using Pickstar again.
Jodie, Committee for Greater Shepparton
Mark "Squiz" Squirrel gave a tailed presentation that ticked all our boxes!
Breese Pitt Dixon
Mark 'Squiz' Squirrell ran an interactive workshop on leadership for 35 of our clients. He was inspiring, he connected with the audience, he bought along some VR goggles which kept everyone engaged.
Alex Ayton - Andrew Sparks Academy
Our presenter Mark Squizz Squirrell was fantastic! He spoke on resilience and leadership decision-making and had the team engaged the whole time. We would definitely recommend Mark if you are looking for a speaker to talk around succeeding in adversity.
GJK Facility Services