Each of us has our own reason for becoming a dive professional and working in the wonderful diving industry, but for all of us there are a few things that are paramount to why we dive, why we want to take you diving, and why Academy of Scuba is different to most businesses out there.
Come in on any Thursday night for our club nights to meet some of the crew and the wonderful people that are part of our extended AOS family.....
Owner & Training Manager
PADI Course Director #483447
DDI Instructor Trainer
I started diving when I was 16 years old on a venturer camp and was addicted from the first breath. Working in other industries I realised that diving was my calling to life, so I became an instructor in 2004 and never looked back. I dont really have a favourite course to teach. With teaching Open water courses, introducing people who have never been underwater and making them safe, competent divers gives me a huge buzz.
As divers, we get to escape into a world that not everyone has the privilege to see. Its incredibly rewarding to be able to give people that opportunity. Making people the best divers possible so that they can enjoy this tranquil world is what it is all about to me. The people I meet through Academy of Scuba is why I keep diving.
My favourite dive site in Melbourne is anywhere on the walls of the shipping channel. The colours and the diversity of fish life is outstanding, and to most (especially me till I saw the walls with my own eyes many years ago) completely surprising.
My favourite overseas destinations so far have been Palau (for the sheer beauty in a stunning island paradise), the Maldives (for more beauty and abundace of fish, as well as being able to snorkel with a 2m manta ray looping and feeding only half a metre away from me) and Vanuatu (being able to dive on a huge wreck called the Coolidge. It is 6 metres smaller than the titanic. This old luxury liner turned naval vessel is a step back in history and is just a great dive. Everyone must see the flashlight fish at night on the Coolidge!! :)
Diving instruction has given me the freedom to explore places most can only dream about, and the ability to meet hundreds of people to take them on underwater adventures. Obtaining my PADI Course Directors rating in 2014, I am now part of a priveledged few who can help future instructors gain the same buzz that I get out of teaching, all the while helping to change other peoples lives for the better when introducing them to our underwater wonderland.
Come diving with me and my team anytime.
Everyone has their own reason why they dive. I began diving simply for the joy and to see the beautiful underwater world. The more I dived, the more I explored, the more I came to understand how diving can change your life, and the doors it can unlock for you. Selfishly, I dive because it gives me a peace that I am yet to find on land in the same way. However, I take great joy to see my love of the watery world transferred to others: young, old or anywhere in between. It is humbling to offer someone a doorway to another perspective and then seeing their life change as a result of that.
I am captivated by the underwater world, and feel a strong sense of duty to protect it and educate others about ocean conservation. Working at Academy of Scuba gives me the opportunity to do all this and more, so I’m a pretty happy bunny. Getting the chance to grow professionally as well as personally in your field of work is special and rare, so I’m very grateful to Kat and all those who make AOS a fantastic place to be. If you come into the shop you’ll likely find me in close proximity to food and/or tea, and I’ll probably be running around. Outside of the shop, I help coordinate our Dive Against Debris and other conservation efforts.
Melbourne offers an incredibly rare variety of sites: fantastic shore dives that are easy, accessible training spots, which still deliver when it comes to fish life and aesthetics. Want wrecks? Victoria has hundreds! Want wall dives? Lonsdale wall is fantastic, and a totally different ecosystem to explore than the classic hard coral walls and gardens. Want depth? No problem. Don’t want depth? No problem there too. Fan of big stuff? We’ve got big stuff alright, just take a peek at the Giant Smooth Rays that come cruising into the piers. Loco for macro?
Take your time exploring underneath any of the piers on the Mornington Peninsula, or maybe Jawbone sanctuary down at Williamstown (plus heaps more places I could mention). Need to take some time to work on skills? Do not stress, there’s plenty of places. Melbourne truly does have it all, but she’ll not always give it to you easy – so don’t rush, take your time here, and let the locals surprise you.
Diving is my meditation tool to avoid all the chaos on the surface. There's no conflict underwater, just sweet sweet silence, except for all those bubbles of course. But then again, sometimes you hear strange and wonderful sounds every now and then, which only brings more comfort.
You can feel the amazing sensation of breathing underwater here in Melbourne, which offers more than you could even imagine! Every kind of colour exists under our seas, which I must admit is my favourite part about diving here, and it's only at our backdoor.
I choose to be a part of AOS to explore this amazing underwater beauty because we're a family. And just as Lilo says, "Ohana" means "family", and family means "no one gets left behind". Which is exactly what we stand for, both socially and diving-ly.
Money can't buy what it's like to see a student suddenly achieve what it's like to breathe underwater - what it's like to finally grasp the skill and reach their goals. It's like being a proud mum, which I must admit I can't relate to, but you get the gist. The Canberra Wreck just off Barwon Heads is pretty special and my favourite site because of its historic beauty and mostly-fantastic visibility, but if you want to access this bad boy, you've gotta jump on an Advanced Course!
So... hit me or the others up if you want to join the AOS bandwagon and we'll get you exactly where you should and want to be!
My name is James and I want to get you into the water, well... under the water. I bring an extensive list of relevant qualifications and experience, that I want to share with you.
My motivation lies in showing people the most incredible part of the planet, the underwater world of Victoria. It truly is magnificent and I would class it as one of the best diving locations that you could ever hope for! If you have not been underwater in Victoria before, you really are missing out.
Additionally, I want to grow the sport of freediving in Australia (especially Victoria) and create a community of competent, safe, conservative freedivers and spearfisherman. By training with me, you are pioneering the culture of freediving in Victoria and pretty much Australia as well.
I have lived on the Surfcoast of Victoria all of my life and from a young age was thrown into the ocean, it is as much a part of me as I am of it.
I have been spearfishing, surfing, or freediving, fishing or photographing along this coast line weekly (sometimes daily) for the better part of 20 years and think of the underwater world as a second home.
My relevant qualifications:
• Freediving instructor for Apnea Total
• Freediving instructor for PADI
• Qualified Advanced Life Support Paramedic in Victoria (your in safe hands)
• AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
• Surfing Instructor
• Surf Survival Instructor
• Surf Bronze Medallion
If you ever have any questions, or just want to chat about this awesome place/sport then please don't hesitate to contact me!
My love for the ocean began at a very early age watching Aquaman cartoons and it continued with the Jacques Cousteau documentaries of the 70’s.
The underwater world has always been a place of beauty and wonder for me, and in 2002, I completed my Open Water course. Five years later I became a PADI Instructor.
All of this has allowed me to meet wonderful people and have the most amazing experiences. From Diving in the caves of Mount Gambia, to diving the ship wrecks and reefs of Victoria, and throughout Australia, South Pacific, South East Asia and the Caribbean.
In the immortal words of Jacques Cousteau: “The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish”
I've been a qualified diver since 2003. I have lived in many places, including Sydney and Brisbane - for some reason, I waited until I moved to the cooler waters of Melbourne to get serious about my diving... (I am clearly good at picking the best diving city!).
I became a Dive Master in 2016, and it was during my DM Internship that I very quickly realised that I utterly enjoy introducing land lubbers to the wonderful underwater world, and signed up straight away to become an Instructor!
With amazing coaching by Kat at AOS, I am now living the dream, teaching people and showing them the amazing world we live in. Diving for me is a release from the stress and hassle of the world - worries and concerns float and stay on the surface. Seeing the amazing creatures that live in our bay is stunning, especially when so much of our land based wildlife is no more as Melbourne grows. When out from under the water, you will find me on the water kite surfing, sailing (racing skiffs), swimming, windsurfing - in fact, any water sport there is...
When on land, you can find me running ultra marathons, mountain biking, rock climbing, dancing - I don't do sitting still. Originally a Pom, I've lived in Australia long enough to call it home, and have learned to like cold beers... (And no matter what, I get to win the ashes!).
Come diving with me, and see what my office looks like!
I have been diving since I as quite young, the love and curiosity for marine life got me engaged in the sport. Melbourne diving is like one of those hidden gems, you have to see it to believe it.
Been part of AOS has allowed me to be part of an amazing diving family, being able to share experiences and knowledge in diving with others like me is fantastic.
What I love the most about teaching is the feeling I get when you take someone for their first proper dive and they are speechless. You can show a photo or a video to anyone but to would never be the same than being there and experience it first hand. Let me show you. Felipe Castaño
I have been diving for 14 years, since purchasing a Discover Scuba Dive for my girlfriend for her 21st birthday. We both did our first course in Tanzania on our honeymoon in 2005 and have been diving ever since. I love meeting other passionate divers and experiencing amazing dive locations. I have dived many sites up and down the east coast of Australia and have dived the various piers and beaches on the Mornington Peninsula many many times.
My favourite pier dives are Rye and Flinders as they always deliver some awesome creatures. When in doubt, stay still and the creatures come to you!!My next big excitement is teaching my daughter how to dive and sharing this amazing under-water world with her. I have recently embarked on the professional diving journey and can't wait to become an instructor under the expert guidance of the AOS team.
I’m not as crazy as I appear in the photo believe me, one thing I am pretty crazy about though is diving. It has been such an important part of my life for many years now and I’m sure many other divers will agree with me that being either on, in, or under the water is where I feel most at home. It really is “better down where it’s wetter”.
From a young age I was always very apprehensive of the ocean (I think my obsession with the film ‘Jaws’ was to blame) so what better way to cure that fear by diving head first, literally, into an Openwater course in 2012. From the moment I had my first breaths in the open ocean I could feel all the years of fear slowly washing away and making way for a truly unforgettable experience. I will always remember my first breaths underwater and hopefully you will too! Now as an instructor I’ve been lucky enough to see people conquer the same fears that I once had and get to experience the beautiful underwater world.
I have been welcomed to the AOS team with open arms and as many have said before me the sense of family here is amazing. The feeling of support from the shop is incredible and the opportunities in diving and social activities for the staff, customers and dive club are endless.
On my days off from being a part-time merman you can normally find me sitting on a rock combing out my hair or polishing my clamshell bra, but other things I enjoy are indulging my other passion which is photography, and getting back into underwater photography and filmmaking is keen interest I have for the future.
So come down and have a dive with us or to just chat some bubbles.
Megan has been teaching for many years now. A passionate marine biology major she loves taking people diving. She will write more about herself here soon :)
For me nothing matches the beauty and serenity of the underwater world. That moment when you descend below the surface, your cares float away with your bubbles. Every dive is unique and different with so many new discoveries. Melbourne is home to some of the most beautiful and varied dive sites! We are completely spoilt for choice with easy dives among the Weedy Sea dragons in Flinders or seals at Popes Eye, not to mention the abundant fish life. Octopus, blue devils, spider crabs, we have it all. Nothing matches the colour and beauty of the sponges and sea grasses in and around the bay.
I did my initial Open Water certification with AOS at the beginning of my diving journey and have continued my training with the awesome AOS crew. Being a part of this team makes me feel like I am a part of the friendliest dive family around.
Watching someone realise they can not only breath underwater but do it easier than they expected is such a thrill. Then once they get past that sensation and begin to notice their surroundings, seeing a whole new world, makes me really happy to be a part of each divers journey. I enjoy finding cool sites and different things to discover and show other divers. For me night diving at the Grotto is great while Popes Eye is always a favourite to see sea life in abundance. For exploring you can’t go past the J4 or ex HMAS Canberra.
Hi, my name is Christian and diving is my biggest passion. I have been diving since i was 17.
When I arrived to Melbourne i didn’t think that there could have been a lot of diving places.
I find Melbourne a great place to go diving. Why? Because it has anything that you looking for.
From a wide range of fish species to really good wrecks, walls, etc.
I’ve been enjoying Melbourne diving with the AOS team members and it has been a really good experience. They are really good people and divers to share some time underwater. That’s the reason why i would like to be part of the team.
Melbourne has a huge dive sites but my favourites are Lonsdale Wall, Ripbank, HMAS Canberra, and Blairgowrie Pier.
I first started diving in 1999, just doing a few dives a year, here and there, when I could find someone to go with. It wasn’t until 2012 that I really started getting into it, when I walked into Academy of SCUBA and discovered diving with the right people – passionate people – makes all the difference in the world! Underwater is such a peaceful, calm place, it’s like another world. Then when you come back up to the surface, swapping stories with all the other excited divers, about all the wonders you have just seen, is my all-time favourite conversation!
Academy of SCUBA has provided me with many new passionate dive buddies, all as fascinated by the underwater world as I am. I have a passion for adventure and learning and am now a Divemaster and a Master Diver and with so much more to learn and experience, I can see my future in diving will be endless. I am excited to have the opportunity as a Divemaster to share this with other divers, for us to jump in together and really enjoy that peaceful world, just waiting to be experienced.