Spinal Life Australia’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mark Townend AM, is excited about navigating both the opportunities and challenges that will come his way.
Having been the CEO of RSPCA Queensland for 19 years, Mark has been looking for a change, where he can share and grow his extensive skills and experience.
He said he was familiar with Spinal Life before taking on the role, and knew people who worked with the organisation previously.
“I have always thought highly of the organisation and considered its work and services important,” he said.
Mark also knows firsthand the challenges of having spinal cord damage, with a friend from school sustaining quadriplegia 40 years ago in a diving accident.
“Importantly, his injury didn’t stop my friend from living and achieving in life,” he said.
“i read recently of my friend achieving what many would have thought impossible, reaching the heights of Machu Picchu in Peru – a tremendous feat for anyone.”
He said he saw Spinal Life as an organisation with strong foundations and a focused purpose.
“I believe my leadership style, creative thinking, energy and ability to turn challenges into opportunities can help to bring about some significant changes to the sustainability and evolvement of the organisation,” he said.
“Together with Spinal Life’s team of experienced and dedicated staff and volunteers, I believe we can become the sector leader in both advocacy and service provision, for the benefit and empowerment of those living with spinal cord injury.”
Mark said he was most looking forward to meeting Spinal Life’s members, clients, staff and volunteers to hear their stories, along with learning more about their challenges and goals.
“I am also looking forward to sharing my knowledge, skills and ideas to continue the important work of Spinal Life while ensuring its sustainability and future success.”
Mark has been recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Federation Medal for significant services to the community.
He has also been the CEO of Shelterbuddy software, providing an invaluable database for animal shelters, along with Patron of Queensland’s largest RSL Club, a Board member of Regional Development Australia by ministerial appointment, the Chairperson of an aged care facility and a former local councillor.
Mark will be commencing with Spinal Life on Tuesday, 8 October.