A people person at heart, Canberra’s Mark Wolens is an avid traveller who loves getting away whenever he can. Even though COVID-19 has slowed him down in this regard, he is looking forward to the day when international borders reopen and he can get overseas again.
Region Media sits down with Mark to get to know him beyond his professional capacity as Independent Property Group’s principal and director, and find out how he spends his downtime.
In one sentence, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Mark, I’ve been with Independent for more than 30 years. These days, I’m proud to be both a principal and salesperson, and even after this long in the game, I still love the fast-paced world of Canberra’s real estate.
What’s a fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I actually collect art of all kinds, whether it’s cheap or not. It can be paintings, stonework, sculpture or just other bits and pieces. My most recent purchase was a rusted bird bath that I picked up down in Moruya, and I was pretty pleased to find that.
What do you like best about your job?
I’d say it’s most definitely the people, getting to meet new clients and helping them to find what they need when it comes to property. These days, I also work with our leader team on the corporate side of the business.
Where did you go to school?
I grew up in a town not far from Dubbo called Gilgandra, and went to school there. Nowadays, I don’t get back there much as all of my family is spread across the place.
I spent many of my teenage years on the rugby league field and truly had a passion for it when I was younger. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I made the move to the ‘big smoke’ of Canberra. Before my body gave up on me, I played for a couple of local clubs.
What was your first job?
I’ve only ever had two jobs. Before moving over to Independent, I worked for the Commonwealth Bank. A family friend put in a good word for me with the Gilgandra bank manager and that’s where it all started.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Honestly, I work a lot and I don’t get much downtime. When I do, I really enjoy travelling, having a quiet drink and meal with family and friends, and watching just about every NRL game during the season.
What’s your dream destination?
Considering it has been so long since we were able to travel, I could possibly say anywhere at the moment. The typical real estate agent destination is to say anywhere in Asia as it’s easier to get to when we only get a couple of days off.
That being said, I’d love to return to Barcelona, or anywhere else warm, and even though I’m not a skier I’d really like to get back to Whistler one day. We were there just before COVID-19 hit – for Christmas 2019 – and it was incredible. We even went dog-sledding on Christmas Day, before spending New Year’s Eve and my twins’ 21st birthdays in New York.
But as I said, I’d just be happy to go anywhere at this point.
Where’s your favourite place in Canberra to show visitors?
It might be a bit cliched, but the inner south for sure. I’ve been living on the Kingston Foreshore for a while and am about to make the not so big move to nearby Barton so anytime I have visitors I like to take them for a bike ride around the lake or just explore any of the casual bars for a drink, and then later dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants we have around here. We are definitely spoiled for choice.