Mick Turner is the driving force behind the International Dive Expo being held at Fox Studios in Sydney. After working as a commercial diver for more than 15 years he has now focused his efforts on creating a showcase for the Australian dive industry. The expo features more than a hundred exhibitors covering all aspects of the dive industry. Even government groups like NSW fisheries and their Royal Australian Navy have lent their support to the project.
Q&A with Mick:
1. What is your background in the dive industry?
I started recreational diving when I was 16 years old and went commercial at 24.
Some three years later I qualified as a Mixed Gas Diver, CSWIP 3.2u and Diver Medica Technician. I worked in the industry for 15 years, constructing and repairing Subsea Platforms and Oil Installations, including Technical Inspection Programs and remedial maintenance contracts. I have worked extensively in the North Sea, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East, as an Air and Saturation Diver.
The Dive Expo project was my introduction, and fast track into the Australian Dive Industry.
2. How did the expo come about?
When I returned from England I was amazed that Australia did not have an expo. So out madness and passion I decided to give it a go!
I started conceptualising the idea last September (2002) after Oztek and added the Surf Expo about 6 months ago.
3. What do you plan to achieve?
The aim is to have an annual Surf/Dive Expo, in Sydney, which will be a respected event and a global drawcard for the respective industries.
4. What do you feel the future holds for the Dive Expo?
The Dive Expo will find its own level over time. We have several hardcore supporters and several Businesses, Operators and individuals that do not support this idea. Future Dive Expos will be held in tandem with the Annual Surf and Watersports Expo, as the Australian Dive industry is still very fragile.
I hope that the Dive Expo becomes an unbiased, communal, and respected event - far from the Politics and animosity that plagues the Industry today.
The Dive Expo is here to stay and those players who embrace this idea and support us will also benefit as we get the respect that we deserve.
5. Where do you see the Australian Dive Industry heading in the future?
Personally I feel we need to form another Industry Association. But hey who am I? I’m just a guy who pursed a wild idea against all advice and minimal support. Unfortunately the Industry needs a wake up call and now is as better time than any. Unfortunately as a Professional diver I know the animal (Divers) and it would take a braver man than me to try and gather all the clans. Any volunteers? (grins)
You can find out more about the expo at: http://www.dive-expo.com/
The expo runs from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th of September 2003 at Fox Studios in Sydney.