David Oliver, PADI Regional Manager for Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, retired on July 11, 2014.
In the last two months I have had the pleasure and opportunity to travel with David Oliver on his final visits to say farewell to PADI Members in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, as he retired on July 11th, 2014. We held well attended Member Socials in all states and David got the opportunity to say “thanks for the journey” and inform members what he’ll be doing. He showed images of a very fancy caravan that he and Anne, his wife, will tour Australia in. It was a moving last hoorah for David and the response from members was nothing short of fantastic! He received gifts, warm handshakes, and kisses on the cheek. More than anything he received heartfelt thanks from so many of you, I know it meant a lot to him.
After more than 16 years as a PADI Regional Manager David had the opportunity to retire on his own terms and in his own time and I didn’t for a minute underestimate this. It was testament to David’s professionalism, dedication and in-depth knowledge of the industry that made him an integral player in the Regional Manager team. He fought hard for the members in Region 24 and the issues you raised with David were never forgotten when he was at Regional Manager Conferences, when David spoke we listened. He raised his issues without fear or favour and would not take no for an answer. It was great to watch him in action and I learnt much from his ‘members come first’ approach!
It wasn’t all smooth sailing on our 4 trips through Region 24 as David stays at some pretty average accommodation – think 2 Star here. When I asked him why we were staying at any particular place he’d always have a valid reason including great service, spotless rooms, terrific management, or excellent food (even though the air-con may rattle like a train passing in the night or the place smelled of stale tobacco)! In his ‘glass half full’ way, David always found something nice to say about those who were part of his road trip routine and you can bet he wasn’t going to change that on the last hoorah!
On the last trip we visited members in Tasmania and David had already handed over, on a previous trip, the projector and Garmin (car navigator) which I completely forgot about and turned up in Tassie without. Well, was I ever in the bad books and I’m sure he wanted to hand out some punishment as I had upset the routine! Now even though I used an App on my iPhone for navigating and we hired a projector for the two forums, it was the fact I had turned up without the basic travel and presentation essentials that I’m sure led David to believe I was sabotaging his final week!!
Anyway, it didn’t take too long to get him back on side, ok about 3 weeks, but I still smile at the look he gave me when I fessed about leaving the gear behind. I learnt that if you break a person’s routine you have to expect the consequences, good or bad!
If you don’t already know David was a pioneer in the diving industry in Australia and commenced running his own scuba diving training courses in 1965. In 1979 he attended the PADI College in the US to attain his PADI Instructor rating and afterwards opened his Dive Centre in Adelaide. In 1985, after selling his Dive Centre, he became a consultant to other Dive Centres in South Australia, and in 1988 he became a PADI Course Director running all IDCs in South Australia for the next five years. David joined PADI Australia as a Regional Manager contractor on 5th November 1997 for South Eastern Australia before becoming a permanent employee in January 2001. Throughout the years, he has played an integral role in the Field Services team, his unwavering guidance and support to the PADI Members in Region 24 has ensured our continued success in the region, as well as acting as a mentor, sharing his knowledge and experience with new Regional Managers joining the team. Overall David has achieved an outstanding 50 years in the diving industry and more than 16 of those years as a PADI Regional Manager.
David commented about his time at PADI, “Life is the most precious journey of all. It is all about the path travelled not the final destination. What a great journey I have had over the last 16 years as a Regional Manager for PADI Asia Pacific. Thank you everyone for making this time so enjoyable and memorable. I will miss working with you.”
We are all thankful for the opportunity we have had to work with David. We are pleased to acknowledge and share our appreciation of his important contributions and dedication during his long tenure with PADI.
On behalf of PADI Asia Pacific, please join me in congratulating David on his long and successful career with PADI and congratulations on his retirement.
We wish David all the very best in his future Retirement!