In November 1982, when he was a search and rescue mountaineer, Mark and his climbing partner Philip Doole were trapped in an ice cave near the summit of Mt Cook in a storm that lasted just over 13days. Both men lost their legs through frostbite.
Mark went on to attend Lincoln University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) (1st Class) in Biochemistry.
He has also competed nationally and international in Disabled Alpine Skiing and in Disabled Road Cycling.
Mark has climbed Mt Cook and Mt Everest, and gives inspirational speeches with lessons in team building, achieving personal excellence, overcoming adversity and turning dreams into reality and authored the books, 'No Mean Feat’ ‘Off the Front Foot’ and ‘To The Max’ .
He explained to the RAs how the snow cave worked to ensure his survival (utilising two volunteers from the audience) when he and his was trapped on Mt Cook and talked about living life to the full and dealing with "disruption" when life throws it at you.
His message for the students was about stepping up and taking on challenges, embracing change when it happens, innovate and collaborate when required, and be the opportunist in your own life.