Jul 20

Celebrating the Women of Dive: Their Stories

This year to celebrate PADI Women's Dive Day, we share stories from some of the inspirational women of the dive community in Australia and New Zealand.


SALLY | WARRNAMBOOL, VIC | DAKTARI SURF BIKE DIVE

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
As a child, Lloyd Bridges and Jacques Cousteau inspired me to start diving, I spent a lot of time snorkeling so then I started diving at school in 1976 with the Grampians Dive Squad (prior to the SES), I did my C Card with Mornington Dive Centre with the late John Asker Lt Cmdr RAN in 1980. In 2004 I completed the PADI OWC, in 2010 AOWC, in 2012 DM and in 2016 I became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and in 2019 a PADI MSDT.

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
I dive as often as possible, around 200 dives a year, I love being a fish, looking for critters and taking new divers to see what I see underwater. I am a passionate advocate to look and not touch, our marine reserves do an incredible thing for our resources and more could be done. I work as a Scuba Instructor at Daktari Surf bike dive in Warrnambool and I work in the dive shop too.

Favourite dive site or experience:
My favourite dive sites are around Warrnambool, Victoria has so many great dive sites. I have only done 2 overseas trips and the best I have done so far was to Cocos Keeling Islands where Dieter and Karen from Cocos Dive treated my group to some amazing dives. A close second was Bali, diving with Agung from Bali diventure. In Australia the best trip I have done was to Heron Island, the diving is fantastic, it rivals what the world has to offer. Diving in Australia is the best.


JOURDANE | MELBOURNE, VIC | MELBOURNE MERMAIDS

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
I went to Queensland with my friend and her family. We tried scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. After a panic attack from breathing and seeing underwater for the first time. A little yellow fish swam past me. That’s when I realise the ocean has cast a spell on me and I fell in love with scuba diving and seeing the world around me and its beauty. Not long after that I got certified. I found a women’s dive day event in Melbourne and that lead me to realise the beautiful hidden underwater world we have right in my backyard. So now I go almost every weekend.

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
It helps reduce my stress levels as I am a special needs teachers. I love teaching my class about the ocean. I am actually in the middle of modifying the bubble maker and seal team courses to make it more special educational friendly and writing up the sustainable and conservation side of it to link it to the curriculum and teach it as an actual subject in school.

Favourite dive site or experience:
Too many dive sites to choose from. I do love north corner. So far my favourite experience is finally getting my sister into it. She’s now open water!! Also my Dad is Finally open water too!! So mum gets to sit on the beach and read her book in peace haha.
Another favourite experience is my husband Kalon conquering his fear of the ocean and snorkelling with me watching his face changed to see the beauty of the underwater world was a tip of our honeymoon (Great Barrier Reef)! He didn’t want to get out of the water.


ELODIE | MELBOURNE, VIC

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
What inspired you to dive for the first time: my Dad! He was a lifeguard so I had already spent a great deal of my childhood in the water. One year, as we went on holidays on the Basque country in France, he surprised me with this amazing gift; one of his friends, a scuba diving instructor, suggested I should do my Open Water with him, and the rest was history. From the very first dive I embarked in, I knew I wanted to be a diver and a marine ecologist and I have worked on pursuing this career ever since.

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
Diving is crucial to my mental health and happiness. This is my favorite way of connecting with nature and keeping on learning from and about the creatures that surround me when I am underwater. I have a fascination for the underwater world. Stepping in this unfamiliar environments opens up our senses and we become more alert to what is going on around us - not just sea life, but also waves, currents, light, and landmarks. I love practising a sport where understanding the environment as a whole, including natural life and physical phenomena, is essential to our safety and enjoyment. Other things are as well, like understanding how our bodies work and how our equipment functions. I love how comprehensive learning scuba diving is and that is always opens the door to learning new things.

Favourite dive site or experience:
My favourite dive experience was in the Galápagos. I got very lucky to find a spot on a liveaboard that was heavily discounted as the trip started the morning after I arrived on the archipelago. At the same time, I was not that well-off but my dream was to see whale sharks. My encounters with the biggest fish on the planet was indeed magical, but I was in awe with everything I saw during the trip - hundreds of schooling hammerheads, majestic eagle rays cruising peacefully through the water column, sea turtles on most dives, playful sea lions, bizarre fishes such as the red-lipped batfish and oddities such as diving marine iguanas. I will always be amazed by the colours, the abundance and vivacity of the marine life in this remote part of the world.


MEAGAN | HEALESVILLE, VIC

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
The colours of the coral and fish life in Vanuatu.. I've been terrified of the ocean my whole life and now its my happy place.. midlife crisis done right!!

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
It's my happy place.. I adore the colours of the underwater world.

Favourite dive site or experience:
I'm partial to Flinders Pier and the resident dragons


LAURA | TUTUKAKA, NZ | DIVE! TUTUKAKA

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
I first learnt to dive aged 12, in Zanzibar. It was in a try dive in a pool. I think I looked to the beautiful, strong, inspirational female instructor and was mesmerised by her cool beach hut, with wetsuits and kite surfs and surf boards piled outside and it fed something inside me that wanted to be that woman.

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
Diving is my livelihood, my daily meditation practise and the way I connect with the Marine environment. It is a relationship that has grown and developed over the past ten years of my dive career. It’s funny because despite the thousands of dives, and hundreds of students I’ve taught I still find the magic in every day dives. It has connected me to other amazing women divers!

Favourite dive site or experience:
I think for me, teaching the first ever woman PADI Divemaster from Timor-Leste was the most incredible experience and knowing that she has gone on to become a role model within her community in diving and conservation makes me so incredibly proud.


SALLY | MELBOURNE, VIC

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
I am a 42 year old commercial pilot who learnt to dive last year in order to do Astronaut Training with AdvancingX. Whilst I obtained my certification only to conduct the Astronaut training, I immediately fell in love with diving and when COVID bought aviation to a grinding halt- I utilised my spare time by doing as many certifications as possible.
I recreational dive with Dive Gear Australia and I technical dive with Aquatic Adventures. Look out for my bright red hair the next time you dive RedBoats

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
Diving is my release, it is my pure joy. It calms me- it makes me a better decision maker. I am a better person/parent all round from diving.

Favourite dive site or experience:
My favourite dive experience was diving with my crew the Submersible 6 at Lake Tahoe for the first AdvancingX Astronaut selection challenge.


RENI | SYDNEY, NSW | DIVE IMPORTS AUSTRALIA

What inspired you to dive for the first time?
My first thought is diving looks cool for women, it’s very interesting more than swimming. Real women go diving!

How does diving impact or benefit your life today?
It’s bring me to imagination and brings eternal joy of my life when I can see underwater world is majestic.

Favourite dive site or experience:
My favourite dive site is Maldives, i had really good experience on Night Dive with couple of Mantas swimming around above me.. it’s so amazing and unforgettable memories indeed!