The NEW Dive Queensland President; Terry Cummins, will drive home to global markets that Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef is “open for business” despite a “recent and unfair hammering by the international press” regarding snorkeler safety and coral bleaching. The scuba industry veteran was appointed to the influential role recently, 48 years after his first dive on the Reef. Cummins’ scuba CV is second to none, with the former geography and economics teacher having played an instrumental role for decades in the global dive industry, culminating in 2013 when Australia awarded him an ‘Order of Australia Medal’ for his contribution to scuba diving. Cummins has also been presented with several other prestigious awards, including those from Dive Australia, OZTeK and Oceanic.
Cummins is also credited with establishing PADI in the South Pacific, as CEO of PADI Australia, VP of Sales and Marketing for PADI Asia Pacific and on retiring from PADI Worldwide in 2012, serving concurrently as International VP of Marketing Metrics & Corporate Performance and Director of Market Development for PADI’s Technical Diving Division. Additionally, from 2014 to 2015, through his family company; TC-IBC (www.tcibc.com), he guided marketing and business activities for the re-launch of diver training agency; DiveRAID.
Over the years, Cummins has also served as an executive on many dive industry committees, directed industry promotional campaigns, authored standards-related documents, produced books, and been a contributor and speaker at dive and academic events worldwide. His commitment to the dive industry has never wavered with appointment in 2016 to Cairns Local Marine Advisor Committee of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. In early 2017 he became part of the Queensland Government Working Group reviewing the current ‘Code of Practice’ for snorkelling, scuba and technical diving. This later role is familiar to him, having co-authored the original Queensland Code in the 80s which saw other States of Australia and indeed, other countries, begin to seriously address diver codes of practice and diver standards.
With an honours degree and two post-graduate diplomas, he is currently undertaking a Higher Research Degree with a research topic directly linked to the long-term sustainability of dive tourism. He is also State Representative of the Cave Divers Association of Australia, a member of the South Pacific Medical Society, a Certified Practicing Marketeer and Fellow of both the Australia Marketing Institute and Explorers Club of New York.
Needless to say Cummins is well qualified for the job at hand has a new catch-cry; that Queensland, and the Great Barrier Reef, is still at the dive industry’s epicentre. “This region has the highest agglomeration of diving activities per square foot in the world”. While “absolutely” concerned about our image following recent snorkelling fatalities and coral bleaching events, he said “misconceptions” were unfairly damaging our reputation”. We certainly aren’t seeing people coming off the Reef saying they had a horrible day or that they felt unsafe. Additionally, several of our operators have recently invested millions of dollars in new state-of-the-art charter vessels and store facilities, illustrating their confidence in our future”. Cummins concluded; “my first goal is therefore to work with a variety of stakeholders to repair these unjustified negative misconceptions. The truth is; the Great Barrier Reef is still very much alive, we have the highest diver safety record on the planet and we are open for visitors”.