About Mark Collard
Mark Collard is one of Australia's most experienced and qualified play & adventure-based educators, and one of only a very small number of international facilitators working with Project Adventure Inc - a global non-profit organisation that inspires others in the use of group-based activities and facilitation.
He is best-known for his work with Project Adventure in Australia, and his #1 best-selling activity publication 'No Props: Great Games with No Equipment' published in 2005 and sold worldwide. In 2008, Mark published his latest activity book 'Count Me In: Large Group Activities That Work!' His latest book 'Serious Fun' was released in late 2014.
In 2012, following the surprising success of his inspireyourgroup.com activity blog, Mark decided to develop playmeo with one clear purpose in mind - to create the most comprehensive, searchable online resource for playful group games and activities in the world.
Mark is super-passionate about sharing the fun and value he has discovered with group games and activities with every teacher, facilitator and program leader in the world.
In the past, it was necessary for someone to attend a professional development workshop, or buy one of his books to access this knowledge and expertise. Happily, leveraging the power and reach of the internet means that anyone today, with a connection to the web or a mobile device, can access the expertise of Mark and his team at the click of a button.
Put simply, playmeo has come to represent his life's work.
What keeps Mark busy?
When not sourcing and writing up new ideas for playmeo, Mark is often engaged to design and deliver many educational and professional development programs including:
- Mastering Group Facilitation Skills
- Team-Building & Development
- Independent Facilitation of business meetings & conferences
- Delivery of conference 'ice-breaker' sessions
- Master of Ceremonies
Mark brings a natural warmth and energy to everything that he delivers. His fun and vibrant approach not only makes participants feel at home, but also assists them to learn more from their training experience. Visit here and here for more details.
He has worked with a long list of clients over the years, including schools, corporations, government agencies, community organizations and universities, in every corner of Australia, and a growing list of other countries including the USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Turkey.
Mark earned his Bachelor of Business (Accounting) degree in 1985 and completed his MBA in New York in 1987. After working as a management consultant for two years, Mark accepted a training internship with Project Adventure Inc in 1990, and hasn't looked back since.
In a career spanning more than 25 years, Mark has assumed a variety of prominent roles in the educational and recreational realm:
Keynote Speaker & Presenter, State, National & International Conferences (1990 - present)Delivered dozens of keynote and sessional presentations to variety of educational and professional association conferences throughout Victoria, Australia, the USA and Turkey.
Senior Trainer, Project Adventure Australia (1991 - 2000)Delivered 100 days of corporate and educational programs annually, principally developing team skills and self-esteem. Freelance international facilitator since mid-2000, delivering a wide variety of programs throughout Australia, South East Asia and the USA. Facilitation and technical skills are re-certified by Project Adventure Inc every 2 years.
Lecturer, Victoria University of Technology (1993 - 2000)Presented classes in adventure education for degree and diploma tertiary students involving introductory and advanced experiential education skills.
Camp Leader, Blue Star Camps 5 years (2000 - 2004)Managed a large residential summer camp in North Carolina for 5 summers, for approx 160 9-11 and 12-14 year old boys. Responsible for staff training, management of staff, delivery of specialised programs and overall supervision of the daily schedule.
Expert Witness, Victorian County Court (1998 to present)Listed on 'Expert Witness' register of Victoria's County Court for litigations involving the use and application of adventure programming activities.
On a personal note...
- Been struck by lightning twice (yes, twice!)
- Never been able to back-up a car while towing a trailer;
- Camped on the lawns of Australia's Parliament House for three days (as part of a logging protest);
- Walked gingerly on a bed of nails (a crazy stunt);
- Been lucky enough to find not one, but five four-leaf clovers;
- Been unlucky to have his push-bike stolen five times;
- Seen a moon-bow (a rainbow at night); and
- Spent more than five months of his life (he estimates) trapped inside a steel tube (flying through the air at 800 km/h).
Mark lives in the outer-east of Melbourne with his gorgeous wife Gilly and son Devon. He counts his time devoted to inspiring groups to play as some of the most rewarding and funnest times of his life!