A Day in the Life of a Divemaster

An interview with Denéa Buckingham
PADI Divemaster
Sydney Dive Academy
PADI 5 Star Dive Centres
Matraville NSW Australia

What is your current job at Sydney Dive Academy?
I completed my Divemaster certification in Boracay and I’ll be completely honest – I’m a chilly water wuss, so in the cooler months I handle the digital strategy and marketing for Sydney Dive Academy.

Describe a typical day in your working life
In the off season at Sydney Dive Academy I’ll be working on a number of projects involving social media, events coordination and marketing. Multitasking on the days I’m physically in the dive shop, I’ll fill tanks, assist Peter Cross and Jamie Illistom with courses, help fit our divers with rental gear and make sure everyone feels welcome when they come to our club.

A standard day in the water could mean guiding a dive club trip around Bare Island (Botany Bay) and pointing out the beautiful amount of marine life in the waters of Kamay National Park. I might be coordinating a group to meet for a dive trip to the HMAS Adelaide or down to dive with the seals at Wollongong. Other times I’ll be bringing up the Open Water pack – looking after a new diver who isn’t particularly confident.

My role is varied and there’s always something exciting to work on!

When did you start diving?
In 2009, for a holiday with an ex-boyfriend! He was already qualified so he made me complete my Open Water Diver course in the middle of winter in Sydney in order to go, the weather was hideous and I froze my tail off.  But 29 degree water in Sipadan and a subsequent adoration of diving were more than worth it.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
I did my Divemaster training from January to April 2012 with Calypso Diving on Boracay Island in the Philippines.

How did you feel when you became a PADI Divemaster?
I was absolutely thrilled because I’d grown and changed as a person as well as a diver.

What highlights do you recall from your DM course?
Calypso are working on an exciting new resort on one of the islands neighboring Boracay. I was lucky enough to go with Rene Buob (our Course Director) and Andy Barrett (my Instructor) to explore new dive sites around the island.

Andy Barrett and I orchestrated the release of two little Bamboo Reef sharks from a neighbouring Chinese restaurant. We also negotiated with the restaurant to remove all shark dishes and shark meat from the menu. A very decent crowd assembled to watch us release the sharks (who we’d nicknamed ‘Ni’ and ‘Hao’) off the beach near the dive shop. You can read my full article about it on Project AWARE’s website

I could go on and on – there were so many highlights. I recommend the PADI Divemaster training course to anyone who wants to discover a new depth in themselves; it is an experience that means so much more than just a certification card.

Where have you worked as a PADI Pro?
With Sydney Dive Academy here in Australia but who knows where it will take me!

What is one of your favorite memories in your diving career?
In March 2012, the Boracay Association of Scuba Schools (BASS) sunk a Yakolev Yak 40 aeroplane as a new dive site. I was well into my Divemaster training at that time so I jumped on board for all the activities surrounding the sinking. I took video of the 70-odd people that physically pushed the jet across the tarmac and into the water to be towed to the dive site. Then I helped video the actual sinking and I was the first one to create a dive site map of the wreck.

My last dive in Boracay was guiding my friend and PADI Course Director, Sue Gibbins around the wreck, the ownership and pride I felt in being qualified to lead her around something I’d had so much to do with was fantastic.

What words of advice would you give to new dive professionals?
‘You get out what you put in.’ If you’re not prepared to bring the best you have to every dive you won’t have as much fun or feel as rewarded as you can if you give 150% every time you get the chance.

We’re incredibly lucky to have earned our way into the world of Professional Diving, now the fun is in continuing to deserve it!

EFR® Materials Update

The full range of the bright and shiny newly revised EFR materials are now available in Asia Pacific! All products have been updated to reflect the latest changes resulting from the 2010 ILCOR Guidelines and include new techniques for helping your participants learn the current emergency protocols.

Revised Primary Care and Secondary Care course Instructor and Participant materials* are now available in English, Japanese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Further translations to follow.




Revised CPR&AED course Instructor and Participant materials* are now available in English and Japanese.

Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Italian expected to become available early 2013.

Further translations to follow.



Revised Care for Children course Instructor and Participant materials* are now available in English and Japanese.

Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish expected to become available early 2013.

Further translations to follow.




NEW! – Digital EFR Instructor Manual (72010) is now available in English. It contains the PDF version Instructor Guides for all three EFR courses: Primary and Secondary Care, CPR & AED and Care for Children.

The paper version EFR Instructor Manual (70149) is also available in English – it comes in a binder with of all three individual EFR Instructor Guides.


Revised EFR Instructor Trainer materials* are now available in English and Japanese.

Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish to follow early 2013. Further translations to follow.

70988 is the digital version disc with EFR Instructor Course Lesson Guides, EFR Instructor Trainer Guide and all three individual EFR Instructor Guides.

70093 is the binder with paper version EFR Instructor Trainer Guide only.

71850 is the EFR Instructor Course Exam.

* Please refer to your EFR Instructor or Trainer Manual for materials required for participants, instructors and Trainers.

Contact your regional Sales Consultant to order any revised materials you may be missing as it’s important you now have and use the full range of newly revised materials during all EFR courses you teach (see next article).

To keep up-to-date on new EFR/PADI course materials as they roll out, log onto to your local PADI Blog: OceaniaSouth East AsiaEast AsiaSouth Korea and enter your email address.

Don’t forget – you can order anytime from the online shopping cart  – log onto the PADI Pros’ Site and click shop online.

Required Implementation Date: 1 January 2013

Required implementation date for all revised EFR materials (English) is no later than 1 January 2013. For other languages – implement as soon as materials become available.

PADI Business Academy follow up 2013

PADI business Academy

Earlier this year PADI members in Thailand attended the PADI Business Academy which was held in Bangkok. East and West coast members came together for the first time, sharing new and old business ideas, and of course making new friends. On 16.11.2012 Tim Hunt and Tony Andrews conducted a PADI Business Academy follow up to see what ideas had been implemented, and which ones had worked. This time however we thought we’d add a twist on the Academy 🙂 by holding the event in

the famous Similan Islands of Thailand, and implement some world class diving. During these three days, East and West coast PADI members once more shared business ideas and tactics which has helped increase there business for 2012, along with getting the chance to dive on Rebreather’s and Sidemount equipment. This event was such a success, Thailand members already wish to attend the Business Academy in 2013. PADI The Way The World Learns to Dive……..

Project AWARE: Celebrate Australia’s New Marine Reserves

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.  Please also read the full article here

Time to celebrate! On the 16th of November 2012 in Australia, the largest network of marine parks in the world was officially declared and is now legally in place.

Over the last few years your submissions made the Australian Government aware of the broad support for ocean protection amongst the global dive community – well done!

Join us in thanking the Australian Government for this landmark decision to protect our unique marine wildlife and places.

The new reserves protect some of Australia’s marine treasures including the Coral Sea, the jewel in Australia’s marine crown. With pristine corals and swarming sharks, the Coral Sea is a dream destination for divers everywhere. Also protected are unique environments in SW Australia, where blue whales come to feed and 90% of marine life is found no where else on earth.

Covering an area almost one-third the size of Australia the new reserves are a big step forward for ocean protection, but we have an opportunity to make them even better. Very soon we will tell you more about this opportunity and how you can help make the reserves the best they can be.

But for now let’s celebrate the creation of the world’s largest network of marine reserves! Highly protected marine reserves enable threatened species like sharks, rays and turtles to recover. Read more about Marine Parks and Sharks.

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved. 

Kids Scuba Camp Mabul, Sipadan Island – from 7 – 11 December, 2012

Kids Scuba, a PADI Dive Center specialising in diving for kids and teens are organising another exciting year-end Kids Scuba Camp in Mabul, Sipadan from 7 – 11 December 2012.

The Camp will be held in conjunction with Borneo Divers Mabul Resort, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center.  Plans are in place for another fun-filled celebration of diving and marine education for kids and their families. 

The 5day/4night package fee is ex Tawau airport. Kindly arrange your own return flight ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau.

PADI Instructor and Director of Kids Scuba, Syed Abd Rahman says, “Come join us for the Camp and get to see the lovely turtles of Sipadan and win lots of prizes including dive equipment!”

Kindly email to:  kidsscuba@yahoo.com or kidsscuba@gmail.com – if you need further information.


Indonesia World Underwater Photo Contest (IWUPC) 2013

PADI is proud to support the Indonesia World Underwater Photo Contest  2013, the largest and most prestigious underwater photo contest ever to be held in Indonesia by The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia. 

Taking place from January to November 2013, the IWUPC 2013 is the first photo contest to be held nationwide in Indonesia and is open to entrants of all skill levels.   

Contestants will submit their entries through “Participating Dive Operators” and all Dive Operators in Indonesia are invited to become a PDO.  Registration of Participating Dive Operators is required –  please see PDO Rules and Regulations.  

To enter the contest – which is free of charge – divers must dive with a Participating Dive Operator (PDO).  You can choose the PDO based on the area where you want to dive. To choose the area, please use the search area on Participating Dive Operator page.  

With 6 Underwater Categories and 1 Conservation Category, the contest also invites entries from non-divers and Junior divers under the age of 15 years. All images submitted must be taken in Indonesia between 01 January and 30 November 2013. 

To view detailed Rules and Regulations for entry – please visit the  IWUPC website  

PADI encourages all divers to enter IWUPC 2013.  Have fun with your photos and happy snapping – we wish you all the very best of success!

1,000 Kids One Resolution for the New Year

On 29th December 2012, Ocean Geographic Society is calling upon 1,000 children aged 7 – 15, to convene at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore to make an important New Year resolution: Save sharks from extinction.  

Together with international and local celebrities, luminaries and politicians, 1,000 children will take the “I am the future, I will not eat shark fins” pledge in Singapore. The unanimity of this message by children from this ‘hot zone’ of shark fin consumption will echo loud and clear through national and international media.  

Over 73 million sharks are culled each year for the shark fin trade and other shark-related products. This is unsustainable. Some sharks are already regionally extinct in the waters of South East Asia. Sharks are the cheetahs and lions of the ocean; without them, the ocean will eventually collapse.  

Singapore is one of the biggest consumers of shark fins in Asia. As the regional centre for the shark fin trade, this project accentuates the solidarity of Singapore children, adults, and non-government organisations in one message, “I am the future, I will not eat shark fins”.  

Our children are our hope for healthier oceans. This is a definitive campaign for children to inspire the public in Singapore and the communities all over Asia to protect these sentinel animals from extinction.  

Children’s Art Competition to Save Sharks – Call for Entries  

In conjunction with the 1000 Kids’ One Message event, entries are invited for the 2012 Celebrate the Sea’s Children’s Art competition.  

Children aged between 7 – 15 have until 28th October 2012 to enter this international competition (now in its 11th year). Participants will be required to submit a painting on an A3 sized art paper – the painting should promote a greater affection for sharks. Children are encouraged to promote new ideas on how to give sharks a friendlier image. Why are sharks important?  What if our oceans are without sharks? 

The top fifty finalists from the first round will be invited to participate in the finals on 29th December 2012 at Resorts World Sentosa. The winning piece will be turned into a special edition poster to promote conservation of sharks in Singapore. 

The Grand Prize for the Final round will be awarded to the overall winner who will be named Children’s Artist of the Sea. The winner will receive a trophy and S$880 contribution to an education fund.  

To enter the art competition, please register at www.CelebratetheSea.com   

To register your child for 1000 Kids’ One Message event, please visit the website at www.1000Kidsonemessage.org

*The 1000 Kids’ One Message project only seeks support from like-minded corporations with robust CSR values in technology, education and conservation. If you would like to support this project, please contact – info@OGSociety.org   The 1000 Kids’ One Message event is part of the NO SHARK FINS SINGAPORE 2013 campaign.