SYDNEY DIVE ACADEMY – achieving new depths as a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre


It was a big day in January 2011, and a big deal for all of us at Sydney Dive Academy when we decided to leave our diver certification agency after 25 years and convert our Matraville dive centre to PADI..and we’ve never looked back.

We could see a change in the market, with the majority of recreational divers and professionals flowing into the PADI worldwide community and in late 2010 we began discussions with John O’Brien (Director, Customer Service & PADI Retail and Resort Associations) about the benefits of aligning ourselves with PADI.

The rewards of our new business buddy became instantly apparent; any challenges we faced in converting to a new set of standards were quickly identified and remedied by PADI’s exemplary support team. PADI’s core values of community, support and service echo throughout the worldwide organisation; from the marketing initiatives and leading-edge digital strategy to the outstanding assistance and support of allied retail and resort operations PADI’s commitment to their partners and Pros is second to none.

Since the PADI logo appeared above our shopfront in 2011 our certification levels have increased by 400% and customers enter our store daily, specifically enquiring about becoming PADI-certified divers. Our students wear their certifications with pride and enthusiastically declare their allegiance to Sydney Dive Academy, and PADI Worldwide. Organising and executing club dives and events is no longer a struggle; our club has grown exponentially and we enjoy dives every Friday, Saturday and Sunday as a team with Open Water to Instructors buddy-checking and descending side-by-side. Booking out weeks in advance our recent domestic and international diving holidays have seen us relish in the balmy waters of the Barrier Reef with Mike Ball, explore the inside of Vanuatu’s SS President Coolidge and delight in the playful antics of Wollongong’s baby fur seals.

Australia’s dive centres encompassed and nurtured by PADI welcomed us with open arms. Peter Letts from Abyss Scuba Diving spent a full day training us on the EVE dive centre software system and the boys at Frog Dive continue to support and encourage us, whatever the endeavour! We feel lucky to be a part of such a proactive and passionate community.

Thanks to PADI’s clever creative marketing department we have a beautifully designed new logo and as we are now in the process of becoming a 5 Star IDC Centre our signage and shop fit-out sports a stunning host of new stickers, signs and decals, courtesy of PADI.

In less than 18 months we have successfully converted our entire staff to PADI and proudly have instructors for each and every diving specialty, including a PADI IDC staff instructor. The crossover process was seamless thanks to PADI’s assistance and professionalism. The PADI team respected the experience and abilities of our instructors and treated us as esteemed colleagues.

John O’Brien (PADI Asia Pacific’s Director, Customer Service & PADI Retail and Resort Associations) added,

The PADI Asia Pacific team congratulates Sydney Dive Academy on their successful transition to the PADI system over the last 18 months.  The SDA team were open to the benefits of PADI and wholeheartedly welcomed the PADI staff and philosophies into their operation.  We’re very pleased that that their move to PADI was as successful as we’d envisioned.  It’s great to have them onboard as PADI Members and we’re looking forward to assisting SDA with their future business growth.  Their focus on PADI Specialty and Technical Diving programs is fantastic, as PADI is seeing more interest in these higher level programs along with the need for PADI Instructors with the relevant teaching qualifications.”

Visit Peter, Jamie and the team at Sydney Dive Academy at 462 Bunnerong Road, Matraville NSW 2036.  Telephone: 02-9311-0708 or Email    Visit their website at

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