Name: Mark Blake
Did you serve in Army, Navy or Air Force?
When did you serve?
Canberra, Kapooka, Brisbane, Lae – PNG (as part of the Defence Cooperation Program – DCP)
What job role did you undertake?
My roles included Construction Squadron Troop Commander, Works Officer
What were the favourite parts of your job?
Camaraderie with other serving personnel, assisting the PNGDF as part of the DCP
Did you deploy to any other countries? If so, where and what was it like?
Only PNG, and in a non-operational role as the Works Officer for the PNGDF’s Engineer Battalion. It was an excellent experience, being able to assist a developing Defence Force, and immersing myself in the culture at the same time.
What is one of your favourite memories while serving in the Defence Force?
Working with troops in Lae to build a bridge from locally won materials, arranging training opportunities for members of the PNGDF that they had never had before.
What did you learn from the military that benefited you most in life?
The military is an amazing organisation with a fantastic culture. It promotes very high personal and professional standards and ethics, including an overriding sense of helping others.
What do you miss the most about serving in the Defence Force?
The camaraderie, however I feel privileged to acknowledge that I am very much enjoying that again with ACT Fire and Rescue
What is your job now?
Firefighter for ACT Fire and Rescue
Why and when did you take up bike riding?
I have been riding push bikes since I was a teenager. I have always liked longer distance riding, so planned a few trips with mates even before I was able to obtain a driver’s licence
What are you most looking forward to on Pollie Pedal Bike Ride 2017?
Mixing with the other participants, both riders and support staff, making new friends, seeing our wonderful country from the seat of a push bike.
Support Mark’s fundraising efforts here – https://polliepedalsoldieringon.everydayhero.com/au/mark