Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming CEO of Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products –twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ search engine. Mark has a Commerce degree from UWA and a post-graduate qualification in English from Curtin University. 

Vanadium battery a WA first

Listed minerals group Australian Vanadium has installed its battery system in Western Australia via a subsidiary acting as a reseller of technology linked to its parent, in this case an alternative to

Death by numbers, do we need a census?

Perhaps it is time to reconsider why we need to survey the nation every five years. 

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Dan Wilkie discuss property planning, builders fraud, Fastbrick Robotics and fashion.

Big week for Mark Creasy

ANALYSIS: It has been a high-profile week for extremely private explorer Mark Creasy, with two major pieces of news that appear likely to add to his already significant wealth.

Business news with Mark Pownall

Every Monday Mark Pownall joins Jane Marwick in the 720 Perth Drive studio for an in depth look at two local businesses.

Big changes at the top for UWA

University of Western Australia vice-chancellor Paul Johnson and business school dean Phil Dolan have agreed to leave the university, which has also selected the deans of four new 'superfaculties' as part of a big structural shift to be implemented next year. 

Accountant faces fraud charges

Accountant Neil Anthony Alessandrino has been released on bail after presenting to the Magistrates Court today on 65 charges of fraud or stealing as director or officer of a company.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss lithium, board changes, Gage Roads, workplace wellness and safety.

Mark Pownall interviews Chris Frame

Are you interested in the cruising business? It is an increasingly big part of the WA tourism market. In this podcast Mark Pownall interviews Chris Frame, a Perth-based expert on cruise ships and the author of several books on the subject.

Grist raises $10m from Vocus share sale

Venture capitalist Anthony Grist has raised almost $10 million joining fellow board member and his private investment partner James Spenceley in selling down stakes in Vocus Communications to focus on the next generation of investments.

Maintaining peak performance

There may be lessons in the performances of our athletes in the Rio Olympics, including some for business.

Blue sky in SunSmart’s UV meters

Charities fill many business niches in Western Australia, but it is hard to imagine that any before now have been developers, manufacturers, and sellers of sophisticated devices that are a part of the fast-growing internet of things.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss state political dramas, profit season, charity bike rides, entrepreneurs and retail property.

Business with Mark Pownall

Every Monday Mark Pownall joins Jane Marwick in the 720 Perth Drive studio for an in depth look at two local businesses.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Alannah Mactiernan, Richard Sellers, what’s behind our resources company results, Perth’s liveability and our changing power and energy markets.

High-tech press puts Picton at cutting edge

The internet of things has provided a West Perth print business with a new lease of life.

Back to the drawing board on assets

It’s time to make privatisation deals that benefit everyone.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Brendon Grylls, Ritz-Carlton sale, women directors, digital disruption and small business.

Smith-Gander, Horton add new roles

It’s been a great month for Perth-based women on ASX100 companies.

Business with Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall, the Head of Content at Business News, joins Jane Marwick on ABC 720 Drive radio to chat about WA business. This week is was Tracey Horton from Navitas and Dustin and Martin Michael, founders of Michael Brothers juice company. 

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast, Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss interest rates, office vacancies, DAPs and other property news, and innovation.

WA Business with Mark Pownall

Business News head of content, Mark Pownall, joins Jane Marwick on 720 Drive to profile two local businesses, Picton Press and Nuheara.

Complacency is the real enemy

Increasing reliance on the state is reducing our ability to deal with change.

Leadership transition’s creative edge

Changes at Amana Living’s helm highlight the different circumstances facing each sector of the economy.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss transport plans, charity runs, Diggers & Dealers and healthcare.

Quadrant backs St Ives home care plans

Motoring, travel, retirement and financial services group Royal Automobile Club of WA is understood to have sold part of its aged care homes services business to Sydney-based Quadrant Private Equity.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss BHP’s fifo move, Raine Square, CBD leasing, residential housing markets and onshore oil and gas.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss shopping centre expansions, decentralising government agencies, apartment battles, asbestos dramas, and lithium heads our corporate fi

Business With Mark Pownall

Business News Head of Content Mark Pownall joins Jane Marwick on Drive every Monday. Today they spoke with two WA business successes; SEQTA education software, and Injury Connect.

New test for innovation investment

It’s difficult to manage outcomes when tax and incentives are mixed.

Pilbara knowledge too important to waste

SPECIAL REPORT: For indigenous entrepreneur Blaze Kwaymullina, the Pilbara is not the remote desert that many other Australians would perceive it, but rather the crucible of Aboriginal business development in this country.


Mark Pownall's Picks

Recent reading

For the Aussie history buffs. Like a lot of things if you think polarised society, royals behaving badly or domestic terrorism are new things ... think again. Steve Harris is an accomplished journalist and media entrepreneur, so this a little different although his home town of Melbourne features prominently.

The Contiki story. It is a racy read with plenty of business tips from a backpacker who took his business global ... and pretty much lost the lot. The business journey is outlined in extraordinary detail. A must read for anyone who has travelled on the cheap to Europe.

Great management text if you are looking for someone to make sense of all the models and theories that sometimes attain cult status. Co-author is Perth-based Paul Culmsee.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues. In fact, when you see what goes on there today, a lot of it is explained by this book

Another fascinating read was Peter Rees' book Bearing Witness about Australia's great WW1 war correspondent Charles Bean. I note there's a competing biography by Ross Coulthart which I haven't read yet.

Also worth reading was one I dragged out of my father's library. William L Shirer was a foreign correspondent based in Berlin in 1930s and, due to America's late entry into WW2, was there during the early part of that conflict. His book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is half way between and academic work and the modern histories we are used to which are more entertaining. His book is awesome in its documentation and given a human element by the number of eye witness accounts he provides.

I really enjoyed The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin which was not only about the US presidency at the start of the 20th century, but the unique role investigative journalism played in reform. It reviews the incredible reporting backed by gutsy publishers who serialised stories on concerning issues with both economic and social implications. These journalists also had unprecedented access to the presidency, especially the progressive Franklin Roosevelt. As the circulation-boosting power of this style of journalism rose, however, some went too far, making up stories and spitefully attacking political leaders - leading to the expression muckrakers. The tabloids of today have historical precedent!

Sir Bob's visit

Some of the VIPs who really did have lunch with Sir Bob.

Recent reading

Just got through this great book by Bob de la Motte, well known in Perth finance circles. Its about his life, growing up in South Africa and competing in the 90km Comrades Marathon.

Another book worth mentioning is Njinga by a good friend of mine Kate Leeming - she's also just released a film on her trans-African cycling trip and is preparing to turn it into a TV documenary series. Her next project is Antarctica.

Find it here:

Executive remuneration

Worth checking out our CEO/executive/director remuneration list here. There are thousands of WA names on it ... 59 pages of salaries if you are up for it.


Meanwhile, I am awaiting a copy of this (not a Christmas hint - review copy coming I am told) which I expect will help decipher much about the mysterious world of bitcoin. This has been co-authored by a friend of mine and former colleague Michael Casey who has been writing regular columns on bitcoin for the past year or more. I have passed on a few tidbits to him about activity in Australia, but I have no idea if that was useful.

My all-time favourite business and political books are here on my Facebook page.


Visionary medico wins 40under40

This year’s First Amongst Equals winner is a passionate medical specialist but he’s also a visionary entrepreneur who has a lot in common with successful business leaders.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Builton fails, administrator appointed

One of state’s biggest residential construction firms, Builton Group, has succumbed to the financial stresses engulfing the sector, appointing an external administrator earlier today after reports of the company’s financial troubles emerged last week.

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.

most commented

Shark cull outcry overreaction

The current shark cull is a politically challenging issue, but one where Colin Barnett is right to dig in because he has time and momentum on his side.

Daylight savers may have to wait awhile

Daylight saving may be the victim of Western Australia's election - further bemusing those who watch us from a distance.

Time to stop slaughter in our backyard

While the public spotlight on the offshore ill treatment of animals bred for slaughter is commendable, why does the RSPCA shirk such action when it comes to our own backyards, literally?

Fitness freaks need more Jacob’s ladders

I note the fuss made around the recent closure of Jacob’s Ladder, a stairway to Kings Park which, due to its popularity as an exercise venue, has earned the ire of local residents.