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Meet Our Speakers

David Strike

Owner Operator Nektonik

With experience in military, commercial, recreational and technical diving, David Strike has dived extensively around the Asia-Pacific region, has authored books and manuals together with several hundred articles about diving, and has organised several world class technical diving events. A former Instructor Trainer and a Field Editor for several leading international diving publications, he is the recipient of the ADEX ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for contributions to Technical Diving, as well as an OZTeK Industry Recognition Award and is a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York.

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Brett lobwein


Brett Lobwein is a passionate and environmentally-minded photographer based in his homeland of Australia. Having grown up on the waterways of the Port Hacking River in the southern suburbs of Sydney, his love of scuba diving really took shape in the early 2000s while working in a local dive shop. By 2010, he had started to take a keen interest in underwater photography and purchased his first DSLR housing. From his first trip to swim with the humpback whales in Tonga, he was completely hooked.

His passion for underwater photography is rivaled only by his wanderlust for exotic travel. Whether shooting silky sharks in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen or sand tiger sharks and fur seals in his native New South Wales, Brett is always sure to represent marine life in their natural element, without demonizing or sensationalizing an animal to gain attention to an image for the wrong reasons.

Aligned with his love for the ocean and its inhabitants, Brett is also a strong advocate of protecting our oceans and environment by raising awareness around excessive use and demand for single-use plastics.

Brett is an associate and resident photographer at Ocean Geographic, Ambassador for Isotta Housings, Member of the Explorers Club, owner of UW Images a distributor of underwater photography equipment, and a winner of many international photography awards.

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Alison Perkins

Underwater Photographer

Alison Perkins is a cave diver and technical diver who uses underwater photography and videography to document the world below from the secretive spawning of sundial snails to the sublime underwater caves of Mexico.

Alison is a contributing team member for the Mexico Cave Exploration Project (MCEP) and the Hoyo Negro Project. She is also one of the founding members of the GUE Project Baseline Tank Cave in Australia.

Living in Auckland, New Zealand, Alison’s photography and videography are hosted under the brand “Inspired To Dive”. Her work can be found on and her pages on Facebook and Instagram and

Damian Jones

PADI Regional Manager

Damian is a PADI Course Director with over 15 years of experience as a PADI Instructor and PADI Instructor Examiner.

He has extensive diving knowledge and has previously taught scuba diving including in high schools and TAFE colleges around Victoria, Australia.

Damian has also managed the operational aspects of a dive store for 10 years and has a well-rounded perspective on the Australian Diving Industry today.

In addition to this, Damian has dived extensively in the region including many of the popular diving locations across Australia.

Dr David Wilkinson

Medical Director of the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit

Dr David Wilkinson is Medical Director of the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit and a senior staff Anaesthetist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has held these posts for over 20 years. During this time he has been the co-ordinator of the DAN/Divers Emergency Service telephone hotline covering Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. He has extensive experience of dealing with medical issues encountered during diving, from the trivial to the terrifying. He is a keen diver, teacher and researcher. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2016 for services to hyperbaric medicine. He is the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year 2019.

Dominik Fretz

Travelling Photographer

Coming from the cold waters of Switzerland, Dominik Fretz swapped the alps for the oceans. For the past several years he has been capturing the underwater world around the world.

As the underwater isn’t the most accessible for most people, Dominik works on bringing the unique marine environment to the ‘land dwellers’ through his images.
“We can only protect what we know.”

Dr John Lippmann OAM

Australian Diving Safety Foundation, Chairman and CEO

John Lippmann began diving over forty years ago and developed an avid interest in diver rescue and first aid, decompression, deeper diving and marine animal injuries. He has been involved in researching, teaching, writing and consulting on safe diving, decompression and accident management for both divers and the general community for more than 30 years.

John was the founder of the Divers Alert Network Asia-Pacific (DAN AP) which he established in 1994 an effort to improve the safety of scuba diving within the Asia-Pacific. He was Chairman, Executive Director and Director of Training for DAN AP 20 years, the editor of Alert Diver Asia-Pacific for 13 years. In 2007, he received an Order of Australia award for services to scuba diving safety, resuscitation and first aid.

John was awarded a Masters degree by research for his investigation of first aid training methodologies. He also completed a PhD on Australian diving-related fatalities. He currently has a position as an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University, Victoria.


Underwater Photographer

Always fascinated with what lies beneath the waves, Gaetano took his first underwater picture with a borrowed NikonosV in 1998. He has never gone diving without a camera. Currently based in Australia and supported by Scubathlon and BubbleScuba, Gaetano takes advantage of the local greenish murky water to shoot close-up wide-angle (Nikon 8-15 behind a dedicated minidome) as well as macro & super macro (up to 4x life size)

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George Evatt

Underwater Photographer

George Evatt is a multi award winning underwater cinematographer. He has dived from Alaska to Antarctica and specialises in high speed underwater photography using the Phantom series of high speed cameras. George’s awards include the Gold Tripod for Best Nature and Wildlife Film, (Australian Cinematographers Society) and the Palme D’Argent, World Festival of Underwater Films, France and the prestigious Whitley Medal (Royal Zoological Society of NSW) for best publication on the natural history of Australian animals.

Hj Syed Abd Rahman Syed Hassan

Ambassador Dive Heart Malaysia.

Founder and Director of Kids Scuba dive school in Malaysia. Hj Syed Abd Rahman Syed Hassan is the Ambassador Diveheart Malaysia, a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and and PADI Youth Diving Advisory committee based in US. Hj Syed is the Advisor for Standards and Ratings to the National Dive Council NDC Malaysia under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture MOTAC, he is  the Chairman for the ISO Recreational Scuba Diving Standards committee Malaysia, He loves teaching and motivating Kids, Teens and Persons With Disabilities PWD  in the sports of Scuba Diving. His passion in the sport has motivated Hj Syed to start Kids Scuba in 2004. Scuba diving has changed his perception and awareness of the marine environment. His dedication and commitment to promote scuba diving for Kids, Teenagers, Orphan and Disabled Youth has earned him International Awards & Recognitions for Diveheart and PADI  Kids Scuba program since 2005 to date.

Jeroen van de Waal

Ocean Conservationist

Jeroen van de Waal is a multilingual, Dutch entrepreneur and conservationist. Through his company, OrcaNation, he teaches children and young adults to scuba dive, introducing them to the beauty and wonder of the underwater world. Jeroen is on a mission to foster a generation of ocean ambassadors, who have the passion, drive, and determination to reverse humankind’s destruction of the sea.

Together We Can Turn Tides – A Manifesto To Save The Oceans, Planet and Ourselves is the first of Jeroen’s publications. The book has received acclaim across Asia and is now making its way across Europe and the USA. Several thousand copies are now in circulation – many of them requested by schools and youth organisations, which are embracing Jeroen’s concept of conservation and education through outdoor adventure.

Jules Casey


Best known to her 75k Instagram followers as OneBreathDiver, Jules is a passionate marine videographer and photographer who started freedive training in Bali three years ago. Her fascination with the underwater world grew after she picked up a Gopro and started filming behavioural videos, where several of her videos even went viral on social media. More recently, Jules returned to scuba diving, taking her underwater adventures to another level.

Instagram : OneBreathDiver

Kerrie Burow

Technical Diver & Underwater Photographer

After a childhood filled with swimming and lifesaving, Kerrie first started diving while living in Thailand in the mid-1990s, taking the sport up again years later on a trip with scientists tagging dwarf minke whales off the outer Great Barrier Reef – a journey filmed in a David Attenborough documentary.

Now a Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) technical diver and a multi-award winning underwater photographer, Kerrie continues to explore the world, photographing her underwater adventures in cold to temperate to tropical waters. She is particularly inspired by the people she meets who have made the ocean their life purpose.

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Matt Carter

Marine Archaeologist

Matt is the leading technical diving marine archaeologist in Australasia. With a passion to combine marine archaeology and technical diving, Matt has worked on, and led, archaeological projects in 12 different countries. He is also an International Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Research Director for the Major Projects Foundation. Most recently, while completing his PhD, Matt was a specialist presenter on the television series ‘Coast: New Zealand’, a spin-off from the BBC-produced UK series ‘Coast’.

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Nicolas Remy

Underwater Photographer/ Rebreather Diver

An award-winning underwater photographer who moved to rebreathers in 2011, Nicolas Remy enjoys nothing more than to get close to marine life with extended bottom times even if it’s a 5 meter deep muck dive.

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PT Hirschfield

Underwater photographer/ videographer

Winner of the AIDE underwater photo competition in 2018, PT Hirschfield (aka Pink Tank Scuba) is an underwater photographer and monthly columnist for Dive Log Australasia magazine.

For 10 years, PT Hirschfield wrongly believed diving was only possible in the tropics. When she finally started exploring beneath the surface of Australia’s temperate waters, she encountered some of the most extraordinary marine life she’d encountered anywhere in the world.


Marketing Manager | Christmas Island Tourism Association

Rik is a passionate waterman and adventurer. An offshore sailor, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and an IKO Kiteboarding Instructor, Rik spends more time on or in the water than on land. Travelling to remote and untouched areas of the planet, Rik documents his journeys through his love for photography and videography. The pristine waters of Australia’s Indian Ocean Islands were initially a holiday destination; however the utopian underwater world of the remote and idyllic Cocos (Keeling) Islands are now his home.

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Sarah Jo-Lobwein

Sarah-Jo Lobwein (Ocean Tidings, Isotta Australia, Ocean Geographic) – Marine Science, Science and Conservation Educator

Armed with degrees and backgrounds in marine science and secondary science education, Sarah-Jo Lobwein is a passionate marine science and conservation educator involved in multiple projects at any one time, encouraging ocean conservation, reducing plastic marine pollution and the awareness of alternatives or ‘simple swaps’ to single use disposable plastic consumption in our everyday lives to stop the seas drowning in plastic.

Sarah-Jo is a regular volunteer for the non-profit Two Hands Project as Marine Debris Survey Auditor and employed for their community hands-on education programs. She has assisted the children programs and activities at Australian Museum during National Science Weeks, volunteers for ORRCA and in 2017 Sarah-Jo was one of six Global Volunteer Ambassadors for the non-profit Positive Change for Marine Life, who personally crowd-funded their research trip to Kovalam, India to establish a Marine Conservation Plan that has environmental, social and economical sustainable goals for that region.

Sean Twomey

3D Modeller

With a background in engineering, specialising in 3D modelling, Sean has been using photogrammetry for engineering works for many years (tunnels, bridges, mines etc). He has also applied them to analysis and animation software and is now enjoying the process of doing this with underwater wrecks.

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Award winning photographer and wildlife tour leader with more than 10 years experience, Vanessa is known for her love for animals. She is passionate about sharing the beauty of the world around us and playing a part in protecting it. She hopes that her photography and experience sharing will increase people’s awareness of how diverse and beautiful nature is; and how important it is to protect it in every way possible.

Vanessa is a member of the Ocean Artists Society and an Ambassador for the Undersea Soft Encounter Alliance. In 2015, she was awarded the International Fund for Animal Welfare Animal Action Award as Marine Photographer of the Year.

Vanessa Torres Macho


Sydney based self-taught underwater photographer, Vanessa picked up a camera for the first time in 2011 and she has never looked back. After a decade of working around the globe as a dive instructor, she finally settled in Sydney where she keeps growing her fascination with deep wreck diving around NSW’s coast. Awarded in multiple photo competitions, Vanessa’s images have been featured in various magazines. She also participated in a collaborative exhibition at the Bondi Pavilion. Her focus is capturing the captivating wrecks and caves of the world.

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Nays Baghai

Independent Filmmaker/Underwater Cameraman

Nays Baghai is a Sydney based independent filmmaker and underwater cameraman. A graduate from Australia’s national film school AFTRS, Nays has won over 20 awards for his short films. In 2019, he directed and edited his first feature, an upcoming psychological documentary titled Descent. Inspired by The Blue Planet as a child, Nays specialises in underwater filming; and has worked with the likes of Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions, Molchanovs Freediving, Cressi Australia, Funkita Swimwear and Dive Spear & Sport. Nays holds numerous certifications in scuba diving and freediving, and he is also a teacher, public speaker and corporate videographer.

Joni Pini- Fitzsimmons

Marine Biologist

Joni is a marine biologist, educator and science communicator with a passion for ocean conservation. Her research and passion is helping further our understanding of the oceans most elusive predators and the threats they face, and she is passionate about educating and working with the public to promote the conservation of our precious ocean ecosystems. Joni is also a founding team member of elasmo, a not-for-profit delivering ocean conservation-based education programs to the next generation

Dr. Taryn Laubenstein, Future Earth Australia

Dr. Laubenstein is an experienced scientist and science communicator, and currently a Research and Policy Officer at Future Earth Australia. She works on transdisciplinary, co-produced projects that aim to convene experts across disciplines and sectors to achieve sustainability for Australia and the world. She recently completed her PhD in marine biology at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and co-hosts the science/comedy podcast “The Uncertainty Principle” through the Curio Network.


Expo Hours

• Thursday   30 July Halls 10am – 7pm • Marina 10am - 7pm
• Friday        31 July Halls 10am – 7pm • Marina 10am - 7pm
• Saturday  1 August Halls 10am – 7pm • Marina 10am - 7pm
• Sunday     2 August Halls 10am – 7pm • Marina 10am - 7pm
• Monday    3 August Halls 10am – 7pm • Marina 10am - 7pm