PADI Regional Manager Jen Clent has been catching up with some of the women inspiring non divers and divers alike to get on board with PADI Women’s Dive Day on 18 July 2015, a special day to get women together, in the water and involved in diving.
In this next set of interviews I caught up with Tracey – New Zealand’s newest female Course Director:
Name: Tracey Channon – PADI Course Director
- When and how did you get involved in diving? “I started diving back in 2006, I was about to enter into a Masters in Marine Science Program at the University of Otago and thought that probably learning to dive would be helpful – I never dreamed that nearly ten years later I would be a Course Director and training other people to learn to love the ocean as much as I do”.
- What is your current role in the dive industry?“I am currently working for Dive Otago in the very south of New Zealand. I am a recently qualified Course Director and help manage all of the Instructor courses here at Dive Otago. The majority of my work is teaching and managing our full time, full year courses that take a non-diver right through to being a Open Water Scuba Instructor and through some of their Specialty Instructor courses as well. It is amazing to watch people progress through the year from nervous Open Water Divers to fully trained and ready to teach Instructors”.
- What tips or advice would you give to someone who is thinking about a career in diving? “Diving is an amazing career option, I don’t think that there are many jobs out there that you can travel to pretty much any exotic destination in the world and get work. Nearly ten years later I am still having days where I am just blown away that I actually get paid to do this! My advice to new Instructors or those thinking about working in the Dive Industry is to find a job in a location you love because when you enjoy the work and get to see amazing things you can hardly call it work”.
- What is your favourite part of working in the dive industry? “My favourite part these days of working in the dive industry is teaching people the Instructor level courses it’s amazing to watch our students transform from a diver themselves to a teacher – I also really like working with the more nervous students it becomes such a great achievement for not only them but also us as Instructors when these students become certified divers and feel comfortable in the water. Probably though the best part are all the people I have met from all over the world, underwater we all speak the same language and I have friends everywhere now it’s amazing”.
- Do you have a dream dive you aspire to? “I’ve been lucky this year that I was able to tick of one of my three top dives that I have always wanted to do when I headed to Sipadan in Borneo, but my other two destinations that I would love to go to one day would be the Galapagos Islands – I’ve always wanted to get a picture of silhouettes of schooling hammerheads swimming above me, that’s a dream I’ve had since day one of diving. The other is probably the total opposite I would love to dive under the ice in Antarctica, I’ve done a dive under ice up in a lake on one of the ski fields in NZ and this was amazing it would be incredible to do a dive in the very South”.
- What attributes make you more successful in diving? “I think that I am organised (my colleagues would probably say over-organised) but being organised and efficient definitely helps underwater when you have multiple students all needing to achieve different things. I also love the ocean and everything in it, put me in the water with a shark any day. You have to love what you do to be able to pass that on to other students”.
- What is the next step in your diving career? “Well I’ve just this year taken a huge step becoming a Course Director which I had never dreamed was possible. For the next few years I will be working at teaching our new Instructors to be the best Instructors possible”.
- What has been your best moment in diving? “This is easy for me – for years I had a turtle curse, I really just wanted to see a turtle. I would head away on dive trips and the guides would tell me “your guaranteed to see a turtle here” I would jump in totally amped and guess what – no turtles. The group after me would see some and the group before me would see some but for years – no turtles. In March this year I was able to take a trip and stay on Mabul Island and dive around Sipadan Island with Borneo Divers – I didn’t see just one turtle but literally hundreds. On one particular dive I actually stopped counting turtles at about 45, they were just everywhere!”
My next target was Course Director Claire from Wellington, NZ
- When and how did you get involved in diving? “I finished University in 1996, started working and decided I needed a treat and diving was something I had always wanted to do. That first dive in a square concrete pool got me hooked”.
- What is your current role in the dive industry? “I am a Course Director and Training Manager for Dive & Ski HQ in Wellington, New Zealand”.
- What tips or advice would you give to someone who is thinking about a career in diving? “Make sure that you still make time for fun dives and continue your own dive training to keep diving your passion not just your job”.
- What is your favourite part of working in the dive industry? “The divers are definitely the best, and also the most frustrating part of the dive industry, but I love working with people especially in our local dive community”.
- Do you have a dream dive you aspire to? “Only 1? The Galapagos, Maldives and cave diving in Mexico are all on the list but there are still many dives I have yet to do here in New Zealand”.
- What attributes make you more successful in diving? “I think the fact that I still love diving and teaching after 18 years in the industry is a definite positive”.
- What is the next step in your diving career? “I am working towards my Tech Diving ratings, as this is a challenging area that I am really enjoying on a personal level”.
- What has been your best moment in diving? “An impossible question – hopefully I haven’t had it yet!”
Again I would like to thank both of these lovely ladies for taking the time to answer the above questions and their ongoing commitment to our industry and hope they inspire more women to get involved!
PADI is proud to present the inaugural PADI Women’s Dive Day on 18 July 2015, a special day to get women together, in the water and involved in diving. With numerous events being hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport. While the focus is on women, all are encouraged to get involved. It’s a great opportunity to get the women, friends, and family members in your life together for a fun day of diving!
Written by PADI Regional Manager Jen Clent