Mark Hands is the CEO of the Goldfields Library Coorporation which branches out to 18 different libraries.
The service is a large one covering an area from the outskirts of Melbourne to the Murray River (13,000sqkms) and it’s used by 180,000 people. Mark spends his days keeping staff motivated and making sure everyone is on track. Every day is different and he really loves this about the job.
He has been CEO for almost 12 months but only worked in libraries for 3 years. Once he started working in this area he really found a passion for it and was so excited to be given the chance to lead the organisation.
He started out at Comet Hill primary school, which is now Lightning Reef Primary School. Then he went to Eaglehawk Secondary School. Both schools look very different now to when he attended them!
In year 10 he entered a statewide robot competition with some friends and ended up winning it for ESC, as he had a passion for science. He remembers the teachers being really supportive of him and his mates who basically went to them and said, “we want to build a robot.” They helped them raise money and helped them all with the tools and machinery needed to build their robot.
After finishing his secondary schooling in Bendigo Mark went off to university and got a degree in Science. Later he returned to Bendigo and got another degree in business. He started out working in a very different place to where he is now!
Mark kept moving around to try and find the things he loved. He thinks the secret to success is working in fields where you have a passion.
“What you really love doing…can give you a career.”
He played heaps of sports as a kid, being quite sporty including soccer, tennis, cricket, table tennis and footy and still plays soccer for Eaglehawk and goes to gym to stay fit. The friendships formed playing sport are one of the best things according to Mark.
At ESC Mark always loved the library and now being the CEO of the library he is surrounded by books! He reads a lot, His favourite books are Sci-Fi and mystery.
Mark plays the guitar, collects vintage music items especially records and players and plays with his kids in his spare time.
He does a lot to help the community including volunteering at places like op shops, RSPCA (his family loves animals). He also coached a soccer team once.
“I admire the fact that Eaglehawk is a small community and everyone is connected.”