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TSM20-15 Mark Balla Discovering my inner humanitarian

Their Story Matter with Sara Troy and her guest Mark Bello, on air from April 7th

During a business trip to India in 2011, Mark Balla made an unexpected discovery, a discover that was to turn his understanding of our world upside down. He was so shaken by what he learned that he felt unable to simply walk away.

More often than not, when people are confronted by a major issue with global implications you will hear them say “What can I do? I’m only one person.” Mark decided that such a response would be unacceptable, and he made up his mind to get involved. Within three years he had walked away from paid employment, delivered a TED talk, founded a charity, joined a Rotary Club and started a project that has since impacted directly and indirectly on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.



After completing a degree majoring in Linguistics in the 1980s, Mark Balla took a job working for Lonely Planet Publications, first as an editor and later as a travel writer. Among others, Mark was involved in writing travel guides to various European and Latin American countries.

After leaving Lonely Planet, he spent a number of years working in the commercial shipbuilding industry with a particular focus on trade exhibitions and trade publishing. In the early 2000s, Mark and his wife Annie started their own business in the CD and DVD manufacturing industry. The business grew strongly and was eventually sold to an Australian based supplier. The buyer established a joint venture manufacturing business in India and asked Mark to join the board. This is where his Indian adventure began.

Mark and Annie live in Melbourne, Australia. They have two adult children and a cat. Mark has a complicated relationship with both the cat and his golf handicap. He is an enthusiastic member of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central where he will be club president in 2020/21. He and Annie are avid travelers, both believing that the world is far too interesting a place not to have a good look at it.

Information on childhood slavery


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