Mark Isaacs is a writer, a community worker, a campaigner for social justice, and an author. He uses his writing, his photography and other styles of media to motivate people to be the change they want to see in the world.
His first book, The Undesirables: Inside Nauru (Hardie Grant, 2014), is an account of his work with asylum seekers in Nauru, one of Australia’s notorious offshore detention centres. His second book, Nauru Burning (Editia, 2016), follows up The Undesirables with an investigative report on human rights abuses on Nauru.
In 2017, Mark conducted an investigation into deportations to Afghanistan with the Edmund Rice Centre. The published report, titled ‘Responsibility to Protect’, paved the way for Mark’s later writings in Afghanistan. Mark’s third book, The Kabul Peace House (Hardie Grant, 2019) is about a community of peace activists in Afghanistan.
Mark will present the Kabul Peace House at his first international literary festival in Berlin in September 2021. The affiliated photography collection, Imagining Peace: A Portrait of Modern Afghanistan, was exhibited in Newcastle Libraries in New South Wales, Australia.
Mark traveled through Mexico with the migrant caravan in 2018 documenting the lives of the Central American people who walked north to the US border. In 2015, he spent time in displaced people’s camps of South Asia, writing about the Rohingya people, conflicts in Myanmar, post-war Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has published articles with The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post, VICE, The Griffith Review and many more publications.
Mark is president of Sydney PEN, an affiliate of PEN International, a worldwide association of writers which defends freedom of expression and campaigns on behalf of writers who have been silenced by persecution or imprisonment.
He is studying a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Technology, Sydney. His research will focus on human migration in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2017, Mark was awarded University of Technology Sydney’s Community Service Alumni Award. Mark can prepare speeches by request or you can choose from the following list:
- The Importance of Resisting Authority: How I Became A Whistleblower
- The Human Stories of People Seeking Asylum: Stories of Resilience And What You Can Learn From Them
- The Power of Community: Working for peace in a land of endless war
- A Unique, Grassroots Community Organising Model: The Migrant Caravan