Gone, but never forgotten: Mark Baljak
Mark Baljak was a business partner, a mentor but above all else, a best mate. He passed away on Thursday 8th of November after a battle with cancer. He was 37.
Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer.
One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.
He has shared much of this passion firstly through SkyscraperCity and more recently, for the past 5 years here on Urban Melbourne / Urban.com.au.
Mark's biggest legacy is this website itself.
What started as a hobby - researching new planning applications in the early 2000s - over time developed into an unmatched publicly accessible project database that both the community and industry enjoy access to.
It was Mark who manually researched each and every project, and then added them to the database. It was Mark who developed the journalistic nous that shined a spotlight on development projects that represented the massive change to metropolitan Melbourne over the past two decades.
It's Mark who I will sorely miss - from his philosophical views on beer, to the many arguments about the state of politics and its relationship to how we grow and transport ourselves around our cities.
But most of all I'll miss his friendship and his counsel - he had a superb knack for delivering a swift kick up the backside when one tended to be aloof, but he was always there when you needed him most.
Rest in peace Big Chief.
A rosary and funeral mass for Mark will be offered at St John Bosco Church, 22 Muriel Street Niddrie, on Thursday 15th of November at 10am.
In lieu of flowers, the Baljak family request a donation be made to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation here.