Next Event - 11/12th September, 2021

Inspiration | Exploration | Adventure

2019 - It's a Wrap!
OZTek2019 Advanced Conference Speakers

Another great weekend done and dusted. OZTek2019, once again, proved itself to be the premier dive show in the Oceania Region, covering all aspects of photography, travel and technical diving. In addition, freediving was included in the 2019 program.

Our second year at the ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour and overall, OZTek2019 was smoother operationally than 2017. We listened, learned and consequently made the following changes for 2019:

  • All theatres in the same hall - rendering any movement outside the Hall unnecessary
  • More time between sessions to ease congestion and enable more time for the exhibition
  • Because of noise in the hall, all speaking spaces were equipped with silent conferencing headphones, which from feedback received to date, were extremely successful and liked by delegates.
  • A scanning system on tickets to be able to provide more accurate data, and more specific information on who went where, when. This was mostly successful - although the Gala Dinner software needs more work for seating arrangements :-)
  • Water bottle filling station - we drank 735,000 litres of water over the weekend and SAVED 1223 plastic bottles!! Thank you everyone who brought their own bottles to the show.  See OZTek 2020 Mission

    OZTek is, and remains, a speaker-based event with over 50 speakers. The show endeavours to inspire divers to keep diving, to get involved; to encourage them to stay in the water, travel and train more, as well as discover and try new and exciting things.

    As always, OZTek is about quality over quantity - it’s about bringing our dive industry together and encouraging them to do more. Exhibitors feedback tells us overwhelmingly that quality of visitors was excellent.

    Conference delegate numbers were essentially static, slight increases in Silver one day and half day passes. I’m hoping these went to new divers testing the OZTek waters. Our Single speaker program was also popular - again, designed to provide new visitors with the opportunity to discover what really makes OZTek special; our speakers.

    Of course, one big difference this year was the inclusion of Richard Harris and Craig Challen, our Australians of the Year, brought their real-life rescue story to OZTek - for which we are extremely thankful. It was packed to overflowing and we had to stream the presentation into other theatres to ensure everyone was able to see and hear the presentation.

    They did not disappoint, barely a dry eye in the house - it was an extraordinary presentation and a real privilege to hear first hand. Again a big thank you to Richard and Craig for the support and generosity they provided to the Australian diving community through OZTek.

    Please note: I have not included the extra tickets of Thai Cave Only in the numbers - because not everyone who saw the Thai Cave presentation were divers and most who bought 'Thai only" tickets did not visit the exhibition.

    Lastly, whilst I loathe to even mention the weather, Sydney did experience massive storms that weekend; and the rain on Sunday morning was extraordinary. Speakers and delegates were diverted to other airports, luckily all made it to the show but it was generally agreed the weather did affect Sunday numbers. 

OZTek2019 Key Numbers:
Total number of visitors: 2178
Exhibitor stands - varying sizes: 85



Pass Holders:    652



(Thai Cave attendance: 577)


Exhibitors / Speakers /
MC / 
Staff / Media:  339



Exhibition only:        1,207

Total Attendance:   2,178

Gender split:  65/35%

Facebook:  > 5300

OZTek2019 Advanced Diving, Training, Travel & Photo Show   OZTek2019 Advanced Diving, Training, Travel & Photo Show


As a conference-based event dedicated to all underwater activities, and achievements, OZTek2019’s aim is to provide something for everyone: technical, history, physiology, wrecks, caves, photography … and inspire. With that goal in mind, we approached, and received the support of some of the world’s pre-eminent divers in their respective fields of diving expertise (motley crew pictured above!).

At any one time during the course of the two-day symposium, there were up to five conference sessions/workshops running simultaneously. As far as was possible, we attempted to present presentations so people with specific diving interests could concentrate on those topics of particular appeal.

The 2019 feedback has noted the range of speaker topics was excellent and of exemplary quality. And I sincerely thank all the speakers for creating such a dynamic and interesting environment. Especially thanks too, for embracing the new headsets - a new conference environment for us all. It does mean going forward, OZTek is not limited to the traditional theatre-style conference setting, and can now open up the possibility of other, potentially more adventurous, venues.

NEW Freediving & OZTek TV:
In 2017 we introduced photography, with workshops and exhibitions. In 2019 we also included a full program of freediving topics - made possible by sponsors RAID International & Deeper Blue. As a toe dipping exercise, it was extremely successful and I encourage you to check out the OZTek YouTube Channel featuring the outstanding work of Dean Laffan and Adrian Davis (Real World) in producing some fun and inspiring OZTek TV videos. Plus Michael Menduno for his eclectic interviewing.
With some surprising crossovers between diving and freediving, interest was apparent in the numbers - with scuba divers attending freediving sessions to learn more about this growing segment of the industry.

As we move forward we will be bringing you some of the other 2019 presentations through audio, video and images. Massive thanks to Dean and Adrian for their work over the weekend. Complete stars.



OZTek2019 saw a small increase in exhibitor space but again, some of the larger equipment manufacturers were missed - many visitors commented that they wished to see more equipment on display. However for those who did attend, overwhelmingly, the results have been positive, most stands reporting quality audience and excellent sales.

The new session schedule changes have been overwhelmingly praised. The gap between each speaker session allowed delegates more time to move around and visit the stands. Also keeping all the main theatres in the hall, made it easy for delegates to smoothly move around the hall and not waste any time.

The Australian Dive Marketplace was again welcomed by both participating stores and by manufacturers and distributors who all mentioned how good it was to have their stores on the show floor, especially as it enabled them to direct sales and traffic to their dealers. This space, also enables Australian dive stores to meet face-to-face prospective new customers and establish an immediate connection.



Promotional Support

OZTek2019 ramped up the social media and, with the assistance of Richard and Craig and their extraordinary support, we saw a marked increase across Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and Instagram. Plus an unusually high interest from mainstream media - something we’ve struggled to achieve in prior years.
Outside of our diving industry media, an AAP journalist attended the show, details of the show went out on the ‘news wire’, Gettys Images took photos for release to interested media and we were mentioned on the Alan Jones radio show.

We received favourable support from both domestic and overseas diving publications as well as on-line publicity via websites, diving forums and newsgroups and their own respective social media outlets. Thank you.

Editorial mentions, articles, speaker interviews and promotional media releases appeared in a number of domestic and overseas publications while a series of Full Page advertisements also appeared in: Alert Diver; Guidelines (CDAA Magazine), Classic Diver (Historical Diving Society journal), Dive Log Australasia; Scuba Diver Asia Pacific, OZDIVER, X-ray Magazine, Deeper Blue and Ocean Geographic.
Additional advertising banners and links to the OZTek2019 website appeared on diving-related internet outlets. A number of exhibitors also gave promotional support to the event by including both the OZTek2019 logo and links onto their own websites and incorporating information about the event in their regular email broadcasts to customers.

In several instances those sites hosting discussion forums either created a dedicated OZTek category to help promote the event, or gave the event considerable positive support.
The event was heavily promoted through the dive stores and we had a distinct increase in retail dive stores selling tickets and bringing divers to the show. Wonderful to see.

In addition, subscribers registering their interest via the OZTeK website received newsletters, containing updates on the event.


Photography at OZTek2019

This year the OZTek2019 Underwater Photographic Competition underwent a significant re-vamp and became a primarily OCEANIA competition - with only one category open to international photographers.
The aim is to provide a showcase for, and to encourage Australian and New Zealand photographers - I’m thrilled to report we had our highest entries ever with LOTS of new names, especially those entering a competition for the first time. Very exciting.

Winners were announced in the Scubapix Imaging Centre at OZTek and are now on the website. Congratulations to all entries, and, of course, the winners - some beautiful images. See them here.
The Nikon Dive Shot of the Year had it's debut in conjunction with the Nikon Surf Shot of the Year and as always, created huge interest. Congratulations to all the winners.

Nikon Dive Shot of the Year will be held annually with continued support from Nikon Australia. Many thanks too to Scubapix for their sponsorship, these things don’t happen without additional support and it is much appreciated.

The competition was judged by a panel of experienced judges & photographers: Jayne Jenkins, Matty Smith, Chris Dalton and myself. Thank you everyone for your hard work.

Underwater Imagery Competition Winners 2019

The winning images can be seen online at:


1st: Jonathon Di Cecco
2nd: Jonathon Di Cecco
3rd: Alison Perkins

Scubapro G2 Computer, courtesy Scubapro.
Scubapro cabin bag, courtesy Scubapro
OZTek2019 commemorative T-shirt


1stCrispin Middleton
2nd: Peter McGee
3rd: Emma Lundgren


Sea&Sea YS-D2 TTL Strobe, courtesy Sea&Sea
Sea&Sea Buoyancy arm & hardware case
OZTek2019 commemorative T-shirt
Marine Life:

1st: Crispin Middleton
2nd: Emma Holman
3rd: Jenny Ough

Rodney Fox Great White Dive Expedition trip,
DAN World Membership inc. insurance
OZTek2019 commemorative T-shirt
Marine Life with Diver:

1st: Diana Fernie
2nd: Lena Remy
3rd: Matt Testoni

Solomons Master Liveaboard trip,
DAN World Membership inc. insurance
OZTek2019 commemorative T-shirt

1st: Eduardo Arribada
2nd: Vanessa Torres Macho
3rd: Kerrie Burow

Truk Lagoon trip
Set of Rod Macdonald wreck books
OZTek2019 commemorative T-shirt
Nikon Dive Shot of the Year:

1st: Emma Holman
2nd: Crispin Middleton
3rd: Michael AW

Nikon D850 & 60 mm lens
Nikon Coolpix W300
Nikon Dry Bag


Note: See all the competition entries here


OZTek2019 Gala Awards Dinner

A sell-out affair, the OZTek2019 Gala Awards Dinner was held in the Lighthouse Gallery, Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour - a fitting grand finale to OZTek2019.


Great fun, great people and a celebration of all that is good about diving. A few people were awarded on this night - those who are doing exciting things or who have gone above and beyond for the Diving Industry. Congratulations to all.


The OZTek2019 AWARD Recipients were:


Presented by Richard Harris (2017 recipient)

Ryan received the latest Shearwater Research Teric dive computer and a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, a Dive and Watch History 1953 - 2013


Presented by Jane Bowman (2017 recipient)

David received a copy of Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, a Dive and Watch History 1953 - 2013



Presented by Tom Crisp (2017 recipient)
Stephen received a Lust4Rust trip to Truk Lagoon plus a copy of Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, a Dive and Watch History 1953 - 2013



Presented by Michael Menduno (previous recipient)

Matt received a copy of Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, a Dive and Watch History 1953 - 2013


Partners & Sponsors

Often new ideas don’t materialise without support, and an extra special mention goes to those companies who gave additional sponsorship to help OZTek grow and improve. Including some truly incredible prizes.  Massive thanks to:

  •  Blancpain Australia - manufacturer of the world’s first dive watch and a new partner to OZTek. Blancpain shows a real affinity for the ocean and conservation goals we all hold dear. Please look at their excellent work with Blancpain Ocean Commitment
  •  Shearwater Research - manufacturer of awesome dive (& freediving) computers
  •  Scubapix - big supporter in all things photographic
  •  Nikon Australia - again a big support and joy to work with
  •  RAID International - Our freediving program would not have happened without both Raid and
  •  Deeper Blue - heartfelt thanks for taking a leap into the void and testing the waters


 All OZTek exhibitors, speakers, volunteers and visitors are valued partners and sponsors because, as corny as it sounds, OZTek would not be here without you ALL.


Unique among diving events, with its conference knowledge-based format actively promoting the adventure and excitement of diving, and ever-growing dive, training, photography and travel show, OZTek encourages industry growth by focusing on diver retention and inspiration.

We concentrate on delivering a clearly qualified audience passionate about diving – OZTek continues to evolve as a leading forum for enthusiastic divers keen to take their diving, training, photography and travel to the next level and who seek greater knowledge, and a better understanding of all the world of diving has to offer.

I hope you enjoyed it - all feedback and good ideas welcome.



Maintaining OZTek’s momentum OZTek2021 will be announced in coming months.

In the interim, I would like to thank all of the exhibitors, speakers & sponsors for the magnificent level of support given to this year’s event.  It was very much appreciated and I couldn’t do it without you.

Sue Crowe

Convenor/Owner OZTek

+61 498 964 963

PS: Any speaker wishing for attendance details or images on their presentations, please email me directly

PPS: A PDF copy of this report is available - please email me if you'd like one

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