(1976-2008)
Class of 1993

Mark stood out from the crowd at Aquinas because he was a great performer.  He had a rare comic gift and regularly had people in stitches through his observations of the simplest things.  His performance in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will be remembered by many for years to come. When he left Aquinas College he took the Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Activities with him. He was offered a place at NIDA in 1996 and graduated in 1999.

Unlike many actors starting out, Mark was successful early and regularly.  He played a semi-regular role in The Secret Life of Us and had roles in two ABC miniseries Changi and The Farm as well as Blue Heelers.  But it was his part as Dan Goldman in All Saints he will be best remembered for by the Australian public.  He worked with the Bell Shakespeare Company and the Sydney Theatre Company.  He played Silvio in The Servant of Two Masters and performed in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Major Barbara in 2003.

Mark Priestley was a unique and creative student.  A quick thinker with wit and dramatic flair.  He was a successful and accomplished actor, and those who knew him well at school and on screen
remember him as an outstanding individual. Juliana Hammond his drama teacher at Aquinas remembers him as: “warm, intelligent and a huge talent when he was just 17 years of age.”  Actor John Waters, who worked alongside Mark on All Saints said: “Mark the actor was intuitive, and graced every scene in which he appeared with a touch of whimsical genius that only he could apply.”

Mark struggled with his mental health and hid behind a mask of expertly played comedy.  Everyone loved being with him because he made people feel special – a rare gift.  Mark’s legacy continues at Aquinas College with an award named in his honour which is bestowed on a student each year in recognition of his dedication to the Arts at the College.