Humanitarian Experience Inspires CCGS Boys
After leaving Christ Church boys intrigued with his stories as a guest speaker at a School Assembly in May, adventurer and humanitarian Mark Squirrel recently returned to the School for four days of classes with some of the boys in the Senior School.
Mark, better known as Squiz, has the knowledge and experience to make people sit up and take notice. His diverse multinational experiences while serving with the Australian Special Forces and as a humanitarian aid worker with International Rescue Committee and the United Nations, have left him with so much to share with people of all ages and, in particular, with impressionable teenagers.
During his recent visit through the School’s Centre for Ethics, Squiz took some classes at a year level, as well as at a group level, including the boarders, the Athletics squad and the Firsts Cricket team.
He focused on teamwork during some Physical Education classes, but many of his classes were discussion based. While discussions varied between groups, his overriding messages were similar.
Drawing on his experiences, Squiz spoke to the boys about maintaining motivation, overcoming obstacles and responsible risk taking. “I used stories and anecdotes of things that had happened to me in a number of war zones and related them back in a generic sense, as well as to some of their studies,” Squiz said. “I also talked about some of the challenges I faced when climbing Mt Everest.”
Squiz implored the boys to be culturally aware. “And I tried to make them understand just how much wealth we have as Australians – not in terms of money, but in terms of lifestyle and opportunities. We talked about the reality of what is going on in other countries.”
As with his first visit earlier this year, Squiz again had the boys’ attention. He said he was overwhelmed by the positive reaction from the boys. “There was a huge amount of interest from the boys and some really positive discussions were generated,” he said.