Category: Conservation

Mark Hutchinson – Reconnecting People with the Outdoors

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Mark Hutchinson grew up in Sydney, Australia. He has called Sydney home since he was eight after his father settled the family there permanently. He spent his first year after graduation as a jackaroo in the Northern Territory of Australia, a young man working on sheep or cattle stations. This is done to gain experience needed to become an owner or manager of one of these stations.


One of Mark’s first major adventures in his young adult life was spent in a car traveling through Africa. He was only 19 during this excursion. He attended the University of Sydney, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 2001. Not long after finishing school, he started an adventure company called UNTAMED, where he reconnected people with the outdoors. He was 22 when he started this company. He met his wife, Sophie, during this time. Learn more:


In 2005, Mark completed a course at EcoTraining in Nelspruit, South Africa. This course is needed to qualify as a guide in Africa. This is where he met Anton Lategan, who is the owner of EcoTraining. After returning to Australia, it was suggested he attend INSEAD, one of the world’s leading graduate business schools. He received his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and states that this was one of his greatest decisions he has made. Learn more:


Returning to Australia with his M.B.A., Mark decided to expand UNTAMED and renamed his company Avana in 2010. He wanted to focus on eco-tourism and guide-training programs more. He sold the company in 2013 to Vocation Group IPO where he became CEO, but within two years, the company had gone under. After Avana, he partnered with Lategan and became one of the directors of EcoTraining in 2015. Learn more:


With full support from his wife, Sophie, they started a company that focuses on protecting the world’s biodiversity, named WildArk, continuing to reconnect people with the outdoors. Mark is currently completing a Masters of Conservation Biology degree at Macquarie University in Sydney. His lifelong goal is to leave this world in a better state for his children and future generations.