There are so many incredible women out there, making waves! From dedicated conservationists and scientists, to underwater image makers, freedivers, and cave divers! We were honoured to have these “women of the water” at ADEX Singapore 2017! Keep an eye out for some of them at the next ADEX!
From veterans like Sylvia A. Earle, who was a Guest of Honour at ADEX, to celebrities here in Asia such as Joyce Tang, ADEX’s Ocean Ambassador, here are the profiles of these amazing ladies (initially published in Scuba Diver Australasia + OceanPlanet!)
Formerly Chief Scientist of NOAA, Dr Sylvia Earle is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. (DOER), Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.)/ Mission Blue, Chair of the Advisory Council of the Harte Research Institute, inspiration for the ocean in Google Earth, leader of the NGS Sustainable Seas Expeditions, and the subject of the 2014 Netflix film, Mission Blue. She has led more than 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tekite Project in 1970, setting a record for solo diving in 1,000 metres depth. Her research is in marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation and the development and use of new technologies. Her focus is on developing a global network of areas in the ocean, “Hope Spots”, to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining biodiversity and yielding basic life support services to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change.
Joyce Tang is a Hong Kong actress and PADI Rescue Diver. She played one of the main roles in the movie “Armed Reaction” and she has gained recognition for both her acting skills and work ethic. She has also acted in various roles for TV series, including “Dragon”, “Step Into the Past”, “Wars of In-Laws II” and “Who Loved Women”. A Nature lover and sports enthusiast, Joyce enjoys skiing, kite-surfing, and golf, but she really found her passion when, encouraged by her husband, she started to explore the underwater world in 2012. By 2014, she had become a certified Rescue Diver, and is constantly striving to gain further knowledge about safety and rescue in diving, so that she can help others when in need. Joyce has also become a passionate advocate for the ocean and its inhabitants. Keen to spread awareness of marine conservation, she hopes to motivate more people to pay attention to the problems faced by marine ecosystems and the impact humans are having on the ocean environment.
As a young girl, Dada Li got her first taste of the freedom that comes with diving on breath hold, and has pursued the goal of becoming a real-life mermaid ever since, creating her own tail to realise her dreams. Today, ADEX’s Freediving Ambassador is a professional mermaid, underwater model, and AIDA International Freediving Instructor and Judge
Eve Young has worked as an actress, won various beauty pageants in China, and hosted the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and she now hopes to use her influence to bring people together to help protect the future of the oceans. Her love for diving led her into marine conservation and research, and she has developed a passion for understanding how human activities are impacting marine habitats. Eve is planning on making a film on marine science.
Michele Hall and her husband Howard specialise in underwater giant-format film production. Together, they have produced numerous award-winning television films for PBS Nature, National Geographic, the BBC, and others, and are the recipients of seven Emmy Awards, as well as other industry awards and accolades. Michele is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2016, Howard and Michele were named as recipients of the prestigious Hans Hass Award.
Becky Kagan Schott has been obsessed with what lies beneath the waves from an early age. An Emmy Award-winning underwater cameraman, photographer and technical diver, Becky specialises in shooting in challenging environments. Her projects have taken her all over the globe, from documenting historic wrecks in Japan and the Great Lakes, through rappelling into caves, to filming under the ice in the Bering Sea. Becky is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, the Karst Underwater Research Team, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
After 10 years of teaching diving, Adrienne Gittus found a new outlet for her love of the underwater world by capturing her surroundings in imagery, allowing her to share her passion with others. Working as a self-taught professional cinematographer since 2011, she founded Soulwater Productions in 2015. Adrienne has since created promotional videos for a variety of operations, including high-end liveaboards. She has also supplied footage to CNN, Discovery and National Geographic.
Alex Rose is a professional violinist, photographer, and lover of all things aquatic. A freelance science writer and editor, she is also the Science Editor and a principal writer for Ocean Geographic Magazine as well as the Managing Editor of Ocean Geographic Explorers. Alex also composes violin pieces for use in ocean-themed films and exhibitions. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habitats through diving, writing, photography, education, and research.
Beatrice Rivoira is an Italian marine biologist and scuba diver. Following in her brother’s and father’s footsteps, she began diving at the age of 16 and subsequently went on to study marine and oceanographical biology at university, completing her master’s in 2011. At the same time, she has continued her diving career, working for many years in some of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea, including Isola d’Elba and Sardegna, and on the reefs of Pulau Bangka in Indonesia.
Hong Kong’s first professional mermaid, Joyce Ng is also a PADI divemaster and a passionate underwater photographer. Her images have won her awards in a number of international underwater photo contests, and she has been published in various magazines. Passionate about the connection between humans and the ocean, Joyce hopes that her photos will inspire people to recognise the urgent need to protect the ocean and its inhabitants. She also puts her camera down, and swims into other photographers’ frames as a mermaid and underwater model.
Nora Lestari discovered her love of breath-hold diving after a visit to Indonesia’s Gili Islands in 2012, when she took a freediving course out of curiosity. The following year, she participated in a “Flying with Manta” campaign in Komodo with Mermaid Kat, and had the opportunity to train with professional freedivers for the national record attempt at the One Breath Jamboree freediving competition. In early 2014, she worked on an underwater photo project with Benjamin Von Wong on the wreck of the USS Liberty in Tulamben, Bali’s premier dive location.
Suzy Lim’s love of the ocean and its inhabitants began during her youth, and she is now using her freediving skills to collaborate with Project:C:Change, an organisation dedicated to generating awareness in China and Asia about global environmental degradation, climate change and conservation through the media arts. Suzy is a PADI and AIDA Master Freediver Instructor and an AIDA International Judge. She is the Co-founder of Freediving Planet, which is dedicated to providing quality freediving education and equipment.
And let’s not forget these badasses!
For more on women in diving, check out Scuba Diver Australasia + Oceanplanet, Issue 1/2017. We’ve got some fantastic articles lined up. Among others, Anna DeLoach reports on swimming with the rare and recently discovered flasher wrasse: Madison Stewart, or the “Shark Girl”, lets us in on the passion that drives her and tells us why it’s time we need to stand up for the ocean’s inhabitants: And Catherine “Dimpy” Jacobs, an Indonesian marine biologist, jets off to explore Norway’s underwater world!