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Squirrell OAM

From Arafat to Everest, being motivated at work


From car bombings to meeting Yasser Arafat and making it to the summit of Mount Everest, Mark ‘Squiz’ Squirrell 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 globe's most brutal war zones to deliver emergency aid and conquer the world’s tallest mountain.

Squiz uses real life 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 lead to his eventual success.

In addition to this, Squiz has taken the concept of being motivated at work to an all new level. 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. The inspiring and thrilling recount across glaciers and up exposed cliffs reveals the motivation, habits and adversity skills that facilitated his success.

Current work

Now based out of Melbourne, 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!

Previous experience

Green Beret: Squiz was awarded the coveted “Green Beret” whilst serving with the Australian Commandos. His tenure with the military provided him with the skills and courage to succeed in the face of adversity and turmoil. It was the perfect grounding for a career as an International Aid Worker.

Negotiations: 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.

Education:Squiz has a Bachelor of Business (HRM) and has published a memoire 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.

Talking Points

Extreme Leadership

Strategic leading to ensure a unified and collaborative effort at all levels.

Building Resilience

Succeeding during turbulent times and in unpredictable environments.

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.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Maximising CSR results and using it as a motivational tool for your workforce.

Virtual Reality Experience

Experience first-hand the challenges and rewards of working in war zones and climbing Everest. Up to 100 VR goggles are available, larger audiences would need to be staggered.

Maximising Diversity

Using diversity to build powerful teams.

Negotiating Under Pressure

Conversational and behavioural tactics used on the battlefield to negotiate access and save lives.

Effective Communication

Opening up the channels that maximise communication and create unity amongst team members.

Motivating Teams

How to get your team to climb the organisations “Everest”.

Ebola Outbreak (ie Change)

Managing risk and emotions to create excitement around the challenge of the unknown road ahead.

Everest Extreme Teams

Maximising your team’s talent to smash your opposition.

Chaos and Culture

How cross cultural teams from the United Nations overcome chaos in the world’s most challenging hotspots.

Leading your Team through the Outbreak

Mark "Squiz" Squirrell OAM deployed to Liberia (with the United Nations) and Sierra Leonne (with Aspen Medical) during the 2015 Ebola Outbreak. It was his job to keep staff safe and ensure that the organisation could continue operating at the epicentre of the health emergency.

Squiz is now available to deliver strategy sessions with your leadership team to provide insights and guidance based on what worked and failed during the Ebo la Outbreak.The session provides:

Squiz is now available to deliver one-hour sessions that provide unique insights into how individuals and organisations can work and operate amongst pandemics. The session provides:
- Clarity (Fact versus Fear)
- Insights into what is and what will happen to your workforce
- Leadership tactics for a workforce operating within the COVID-19 Outbreak
- A platform to corrobor ate your COVID-19 plan

Squiz can tailor his presentation to meet your workplace needs. The session can be delivered via a teleconference medium.
“ 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 John Holland

“All delegates at the Forum were impressed with his story and the relevance to what we as an industry are trying to achieve. Squiz’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.”

Indigo Shire Council

“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!”

Kip McGrath

"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 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!"

PZ Cussons
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