Below is an article printed in Dive Log, an Australian dive publication, questions originally by Sally Gregory. It tells my story ... well, a little :-)
"I learnt to dive in 1990 for all the wrong reasons!"
Having been a total water baby pretty much since birth, it wasn’t until I was 27 and found myself in Jamaica doing hurricane aid relief, I took the scuba plunge. Why? Well, my then boyfriend worked six days a week, and on the seventh wanted to go diving! I figured if I was going to see him at all, I’d better learn.
Whilst, initially it might have been for all the wrong reasons, after my first ocean dive, I was committed. A truly transformative experience which set my feet firmly under the ocean ever since.
Returning to Australia, I embarked on building my dive experiences, working up to Dive Master and finally taking my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) in 1993. For a couple of years I happily taught part-time while working full time as a journalist. One day, a girlfriend rang me up and said “Sue, I just found your dream job” and sent me an advert for Editor of Scuba Diver Australia. I applied!"
"Teaching was/is wonderful but I soon realised it was a very, very small part of the diving industry and as a newbie editor, I knew practically nothing outside my small diving/teaching universe. It was a steep learning curve, not only had I never been an editor, I was ignorant of diving politics, history etc. Interesting times!
I survived over eight years in the job. Loved it. It was indeed a dream job (apart from the pay) - I got to try all the new cool stuff. I did some seriously awesome dive travel and never stopped training or learning. One of the very best things (and sometimes the worst) was, and still is, the people I met/meet in diving."
"Since then I’ve done dive marketing, PR - I was Director of Tabata Australia for over 7 years, (another massive learning curve in dive equipment wholesaling, distribution and industry politics!) and in 2015, I bought OZTek Australian Diving Technologies Conference and Exhibition. Now I get to meet talented and accomplished divers from all over the world. Explorers, scientists, doctors, trainers, conservationists - all dedicated, inspiring people at the very top of their game. I love hearing their stories, admiring their dedication and being in awe of their expertise and talent.
I'm obsessed with conservation and I try to give back wherever I can. A long time member of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (& ex-board member) plus over 12 years in a variety of roles with the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS) and recently, 12 years on the Dive Industry Association of Australia (DIAA). The fight to preserve will never stop.
Throughout my life, escaping underwater has kept me sane. I’ve never stopped diving. I adore it. Being underwater never ceases to amaze. It silences the drama (even if only for a short while) and reminds me of what's important in life.
I’ve been lucky enough to dive in many places but my ‘to go’ list never seems to get shorter! I still love diving at home. In 2020, I will finally achieve one of my bucket list dreams .. I’m off to dive in Antarctica, something I wanted to do for my 50th but have had to put on hold till my 57th!! But it’ll be worth the hard work and I’ve been busy getting my skills up to speed and ensuring I’m fit enough to make the most of it.
So, what once started as a question mark, has shaped my life in every way possible and I wouldn't change a thing.