“A Lifetime of Discovery ” Sydney – Style
Its been 33 years since the I gave the first “Education through Entertainment” audio – visual presentations of “Sex in the Sea” in my then home town of Sydney. In those days I called it “Reproduction techniques of Marine Animals” but it never quite had enough innuendo to make it popular.
Once I changed the title to “Sex in the Sea” in 1976, it became my most requested presentation at dive shows and club venues.
Since those days I have modified, extended and enhanced my many programs a number of times to where the present day Power Point DVD titles present a natural history smorgasbord of images and information. Each has enough impact to keep divers entertained and educated for an hour or two, even in this day and age of Google everything!
Of course I am led to believe that my life experiences of how I learnt to “sort out the stuff” and surviving to get the shots, is really what people find the most entertaining, but who’s counting? What is important is that it is still possible to provide presentations to groups of keen and interested divers with first hand experiences of exploring the World of Water and show them how and where to find extraordinary creatures.
DIVE 2000 INVITATION
Having moved to Queensland over 25 years ago and making my home in Brisbane since, my huge work load has not made it as easy to schedule short term trips away unless it was in conjunction with a special event. When Kevin Deacon of DIVE 2000 rang with a suggestion of coming down to Sydney to give a presentation and launch my new NUDIBRANCHS ENCYCLOPEDIA at the DIVE 2000 Dive Club, it was a great excuse to get away from the real work load and visit some old friends.
Over the years Kevin’s love of the ocean and all it contains and my own have been coming together at various stages, but we rarely got to do more than get the job done and then it was back to trying to stay viable in what is not always an easy industry to survive in.
Kevin has been diving and taking photographs for over 35 years. One of the first images he had published in the Australian Museum Magazine was of a giant cuttlefish in and I still remember it.
Since then his award winning images have graced the pages of many books and magazines throughout the world, including a number of his own books on diving the South Pacific.
When “Sea Life Dive Travel” ( now absorbed into PRO-DIVE) ran the first organized dive travel trips to Lord Howe Island in the early 1980’s and employed me to run back to back UNDERWATER IDENTIFICATION ADVANCE DIVER COURSES for its divers, Kevin used to run the Rubber Ducks full of divers out to the Admiralties, teach diving and Underwater Photography and make film documentaries.
As well as making film documentaries Kevin filmed all the underwater footage
for Mike Willesee’s Trans Media Production “ Sink or Swim”. This one hour documentary was televised by Channel Nine and was based on teaching 3 underprivileged kids from institutions to scuba dive and then taking them and me to Lord Howe Island to see if my experiences of turning my childhood “abuse to good use” through scuba diving might help them (as it did me) by introducing them to the wonderous World of Water.
However, Kevin always had a dream to own his own dive shop and today he and wife Cherie are proud owners one of the most professionally run modern dive shops in Australia and displays SCUBA DIVING at the highest level.
I was blown away by the presentation of equipment, the quality of the equipment, and the design and the layout. The up market cabinets for photo gear, the filling station and range of hire gear with everything coded and everything in its place.
It shone with precision workmanship, and most of all it reflected the amazing loyalty and pride of everybody who worked in the shop. One cannot run an enterprise of this magnitude on one’s own, it needs people who care, and Kevin and Cherie certainly have some of the best.
As a PADI Master Diver Trainer Kevin has been actively involved in all levels of diver training from beginners through to trainee instructors and dive masters over the past 40 years. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of recreational diving in Australia.
Two sides to the Story
Dive Club Special Guest Speaker
Evening with Neville Coleman May 2008
Dive 2000 on Wed 14 May 2008
as told by Kevin Deacon.
“What a fantastic night, the best one ever was a comment frequently heard among the group that attended yet another entertaining evening at the Mosman Club with Dive 2000. The evening kicked off with an excellent presentation by Josie Ruth, Dive 2000 Shop Manager & Instructor. Josie showed an amazing portfolio of images that revealed her talent and passion for both above water landscapes, wildlife, underwater seascapes and marine life.
Our special guest speaker, Neville Coleman, delighted the audience with his images and stories of diving & marine research from the early days in the 1960’s through to the present day. He also revealed many of the unique and amazing species of marine life he has discovered in the past 40 years including a beautiful pygmy seahorse which, like many other species discovered by Neville, has been named after him. After the evening with Neville it became clear to everyone that we swim past hundreds of rare species we do not see and everyone was inspired to explore the marine environment with new eyes.
After Neville’s presentation he was kept busy signing copies of his spectacular Nudibranchs Encylopedia which was a popular purchase on the night.
During these evenings there are always special prizes and awards. Tonight was very special! Chris Jefferd was honoured with a Lifetime VIP Dive 2000 Club Membership in recognition of his many years of support; he was also honoured with the Dive 2000 Master Diver Jacket in recognition of achieving PADI Master Diver qualification.Club member Monica Berglund also won a silver nudibranch pendant. Non-member Dave Hannan won a copy of Neville Coleman’s latest Nudibranch Encyclopedia.
The real surprise award of the evening was truly stunning. VIP Dive 2000 Club Member Fenella Cochrane turned out to be the lucky winner of the $6000 Scubapro Competition.
This extremely valuable prize was co sponsored by our diving equipment supplier Scubapro/Uwatec providing a set of equipment, our dive travel agency Dive Adventures and Lissenung Island Resort providing a complete dive holiday to Papua New Guinea with Performance Sports Scuba, our supplier of Olympus cameras, providing a digital underwater camera system. The Dive 2000 team were also acknowledged for their efforts in ensuring that every client and club member purchasing Scubapro equipment over the last 6 months went into the prize draw.
The evening was complimented by fine food and the opportunity to catch up with fellow buddies, meet new ones and enjoy a social drink or two.”
It was very gratifying to me to see that the support for this night was so well attended by so many keen divers and industry supporters. It certainly opened my eyes and allowed me to meet ( if briefly) new members of the diving community and have the pleasure to participate at such a great venue and enjoy the best finger food I have ever tasted, an excellent night all around.
We are planning to run another “Night with Neville” again next year and in the meantime sorting out the details of running a weekend workshop Project AWARE MARINE IDENTIFICATION SPECIALTY COURSE in Sydney for all those keen divers who could do with a little brush up on their ID’s.
The program for this course can be viewed under Skill Development and once it has been scheduled it will also be up on the Dive 2000 Website.
I would like to thank all concerned for such a professional evening and especially Kevin, Cherie and Jodie whose outstanding contributions certainly made an impression on me.