As Director of Yongala Dive, Heather has seen every dive condition possible at the Yongala. Heather is an MSDTwho has worked in the industry in Australia for the past 11 years, most of it on the East Coast. Having spent many years working in, around and about the dive site, Heather considers the wreck as close family. Unfortunately she spends more time around the ‘office’ now than on the dive site.
One Favourite experience out of many – a close encounter with a Black Manta Ray, (her favourite species)…… as in way close, close enough to realise a Manta’s wings are not soft at all if you dont move out of the way fast enough !
Position vacant at the moment – please forward your resume if you are keen and have a sense of adventure…………
Mick, Mike, Mikey, or Micky…..whatever people know him as, one thing is for sure, he loves diving and the dive centre…..he’s even here on his days off !! Some people say it is because he lives in Alva Beach and has no car, others say it is down to his dedication…… Sometimes i think we should escort him off of the premises and keep him under house arrest!
Mick is from Essex in the UK (yes go on, bring out the Essex jokes) and has been diving for 11 years, despite the Essex stigma he is a very down to earth instructor and a cherished member of staff. Only in the last 4 years has he decided to become a PADI “Pro”…he has DM’d in The British Virgin Islands, The UK, Utila (Honduras), and also taught in a few of these places too!
His favourite type of diving, would, coincidentally, be wreck diving! Obviously we can’t penetrate the SS Yongala but this wreck is still by far in his top 1 wreck dives all over the world. A keen diver he wants to become a technical diver/instructor as soon as he can.
Jason Maxwell (Skipper – Yongala Express)
Jason is a Dive Instructor from way back (over 20 years he says but that might be showing his age !!) After working around the traps in Oz as a Dive Instructor in the Whitsunday’s and Cairns (including Mike Ball) and diving the Yongala a few years back, he went on to become a Skipper. After various jobs driving boats he became a Master IV Skipper recently driving barges at Gladstone – clearly not as much fun as driving a dive boat and he couldn’t quite get the dive bug out of his genes, so now he’s back ……. watch out – he’s the one who’s going to be taking you (safely) out to the wreck and back and navigating those lovely sandbars on the beach …….he gets it right most of the time (: One of the few aussies on the boat at the moment, he can tell some pretty good stories……..just need to work out whether they are true or not………
Aaron Webster (Dive Instructor)
Aaron or ‘Azza’ as he likes to be called sounds and acts like your true aussie, however delve a little deeper and you will find he originally hails from sheep country (Yes, he’s a Kiwi so dont hold back with the jokes) although he’s been here so long they should give him honorary citizenship – dont get him started on that story though or you will regret it !! Azza has been working with us since way back in……was it 2005 or 2006, too long to remember anyway but obviously cant keep away……….usually he stays for a short term and then heads back to get a ’proper job’ as he calls it, hopefully he sticks around for the long term this time.
You cant miss Azza – he’s an entertainer……..you will usually hear him first, he’s loud and he’s usually got a few jokes up his sleeve, you wont be bored with him on the boat.
Tammy Garner (Sales/Marketing Administrator)
Tammy, well what can I say….. she is a typical Aussie girl from a small country town. She is always happy to talk….. and believe me she can talk!!
She is the “main” voice behind the phone, answering all your queries and taking bookings – an essential tool in the running of the office. She likes to think she organises and keeps everybody in check, liaising with agents, writing our facebook posts and web blogs and much, much more…..(as she will tell you)
Tammy is one of our youngest staff members and came to Yongala Dive to experience the attraction we have here. As a lover of Australia and having previously worked in Innisfail Visitor Information Centre she likes to promote Australia’s many attractions such as the S.S Yongala.
She is currently in training as a Rescue Diver and loves escaping the office to dive the wreck. Her dream is to swim with dolphins and she nearly achieved it recently as a pod came past the boat on a birthday suprise for her……. She is afraid of sharks (watched too many Jaw movies!) so if she sees a shark she will be the one swimming the other way.
Michelle Chamberlain (Book Keeping/Admin assistant)
Michelle is a typical Aussie mum returned to the work force after an 8 year break to raise her family…. She is always telling us stories about her kids and the creative things they get up to……
Another voice behind the phone, and a friendly face in the office Michelle is an essential tool in the running of the operation – while making sure that the book keeping is all kept in order she certainly dis-proves the general thought that all number crunchers are boring.
Hailing from the western suburbs of Sydney… Michelle’s love of nature extends from the bush to the sea and she can’t wait to get her feet wet and dive the S.S Yongala.
Vicki Quirk (Manager-Yongala Beach Cafe)
A born & bred Aussie, Vicki moved to North Queensland 3 years ago to have a change from the bush to the beach. Known for being a rouseabout on her farm she is also known for that around here at Yongala.
She used to grow the food and now she is the one making the food in our new Beach Café. You can see her anywhere from answering the phones to cleaning, but she will be the main cook in the kitchen….So be extra nice to her and you might get a special treat…
Vicki is another non-diver at the moment but wants to learn to dive one day. She loves the ocean and everything about it.