Mr Mark Stoneman

picture of Mark in white shirt and tie
Certificate of Appreciation
State Life Member
Branch Life Member

Mark became a member of ICPA in 1972 when he first joined the Hughenden Branch.  In 1975, Mark established an ‘on air’ branch, using HF radios, to connect isolated families in far north Queensland into the ICPA network.  Under his leadership from 1975 - 1980, Cairns Radio Branch membership reached 130 members with a geographic spread of almost 30% of the state.  He then supported the formation of smaller regional branches such as Charters Towers and Belyando/Mt Coolon. 

In the words of Bunny Powne, Mark was elected to Qld State Council in 1975 with the help of his wife Joan, “who initially caused him to be a “de facto” delegate to an ICPA Conference in Blackall.” In 1978 he was elected Vice-President and then in 1980 became State President until 1982.  In 1980, Mark was awarded a Life Membership of the Cairns Radio branch and in 1991 Qld State Council conferred a Certificate Appreciation on him at State Conference in Hughenden.  In 2002, Mark's achievements were again celebrated when he was presented State Life Membership during Conference in Cairns. 

Mark was instrumental in redefining the Remote Area Travel Allowance, with sets of lines on a map delineating three zones with different levels of assistance when a student was travelling to school.  He also moved the motion that ICPA approach the Minister for Education requesting a committee be formed regarding Distance Education, which resulted in the formation of Distance Education centres initially at Longreach and Charters Towers.

Mark was elected to Qld Parliament in 1983 where he continued to advocate for the needs of isolated families and became known as the “member for isolated children’.