How it all started
On 21 May 2008 a couple of meetings of interested Brisbane divers were held for the purpose of discussing the formation of a BSAC branch in Brisbane. Attendees included Andy Mason, Dave Taylor, Kendra Coufal, Jo Barkworth, and Steve Pearson among others. Steve Pearson of the Sydney Sub Aqua Club flew up to be there for the inaugural meeting on 23 June 2008 as a representative of the Australian Regional Coach Stuart Cannon. A formal motion was made that a new branch of BSAC be formed in Brisbane and this was unanimously supported by all present. Jason Pacey was elected as Chair, Dave Taylor as Dive Officer, Jo Barkworth as Secretary, and Matt Kiessling as Treasurer. We initially began meeting weekly at the Regatta Hotel in Toowong, not far from the University of Queensland, before relocating on 21 July 2008 to a more central location and our current regular meeting spot at the Platform Bar in Ann St, Brisbane City. Steve Pearson was a constant source of advice and support for the branch. On the 30th of July 2008 we received official notification from BSAC Headquarters that we were a BSAC Branch complete with a lovely certificate, branch stamp and membership application forms.
The clubʼs first dive was a weekend trip to Kenʼs on North Stradbroke Island on the 12-13th of July 2008 and was organised by Andy Mason and Jason Pacey. Dives at Flat Rock and the Shark Gutters were done; while post-dive eats included porridge, canyon curry, and corn and bacon chowder - yum! 20th of July was the second club trip to the Gold Coast Seaway.
The clubʼs first training commenced in October 2008 with Cross-Over Lectures. The Brisbane BSAC Branch saw its first two members, Kendra Coufal and Andy Mason successfully complete Open Water Instructor training with Sophie Rennie at Byron Bay in January 2009.
2009 went on to be a big year for training in the Brisbane BSAC with members completing Dive Leader and Advanced Nitrox Training. In 2010 Brisbane BSAC members together with Sydney SAC members completed Explorer Mixed Gas (Trimix Training) with Steve Pearson in the Philippines. Shortly thereafter club members put these new skills into practice by diving the HMAS Repulse and HMAS Prince of Wales with BSAC legend Jack Ingles.
On the home front regular dives were happening in South East Queensland with club members beginning to undertake decompression diving and several members undertaking Accelerated Decompression Procedures and Accelerated Decompression Procedures Instructor training under Australian Regional Coach Stu Cannon. This trend towards more technical diving has continued with our regular recreational trips now complemented by decompression diving and use of closed circuit rebreathers.
Expeditions further afield continue and have included a cave diving trip to Mt Gambier together with the Sydney Sub Aqua Club (outside the BSAC context of course). Our instructor base continues to grow with several members commencing Assistant Instructor training.