Mark Direen was born and raised in Hobart, Tasmania. From a young age Mark showed an interest in the military and in 1993, at age 18, enlisted into the Australian Regular Army.
On completion of his initial employment training for the Infantry, Mark was posted to the First Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) in Townsville. In 1997, while serving in 1 RAR as an infantry sniper, Mark applied for and was selected to join the elite ranks of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR).
Serving in the SAS for over 10 years, Mark specialised in mobility operations, sniping, personal protection duties, special reconnaissance and training of local indigenous forces. With numerous deployments during his service in the Special Forces including Operation Gold at the Sydney Olympic Games, East Timor, Iraq and five tours of Afghanistan, Mark has extensive experience and knowledge in operating under pressure, working in and leading teams in some of the world’s most hostile and unforgiving environments.
In 2007, while serving as an operational team leader in Afghanistan, Mark suffered serious injuries during an IED attack. Evacuated home to Australia, Mark focused intently on his recovery and rehabilitation. Displaying his trademark determination and tenacity, Mark successfully made a full return to health and deployed back to Afghanistan just six months later.
Discharging from the Regular Army in 2009, Mark continued to work in complex and high-risk environments, namely as a team leader and security manager at the Australian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan during the period 2009 to 2016. His 25-year career in the military, security and adventure travel fields have given him a unique skill set and the experience to provide practical solutions to even the most complex and challenging situations.
Mark is known for his tenacity and positive outlook and his humble, easy going, larrikin nature. Now Director of Point Assist, a distinctive firm that specialising in facilitating, sharing and documenting lived experience. Learning from his own less ordinary life, Mark believes that this sharing can help others evolve, achieve and live fully.