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Aussie Divers Team

Aussie Divers Team

Introducing you to the Aussie Divers Phuket Team

Darren Gaspari

Darren Gaspari PADI Course Director Aussie Divers Phuket

Darren Gaspari PADI Course Director Aussie Divers Phuket

Darren Gaspari is an Australian who was born and bred in the Victorian country town of Mildura and later moving to the city of Melbourne to take a position with Victoria Police where he worked for over 10 years.

Darren came to Phuket for six months in 2008 and never went back after falling in love with Phuket and scuba diving decided that teaching people how to dive was a whole lot more fun and rewarding than the life of a police officer.

Having completed over 3000 dives in the local area which gives Darren a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of the local dive sites.

Darren has instructed over 800 happy students from over 30 different countries though out his time in Phuket. Darren is the holder of the coveted PADI Course Director rating which is the highest instructor achievement obtainable in the PADI program. Darren is qualified and happy to teach everyone from the first timer to assistant instructor level and can assist you in achieving your instructor qualifications. He is also the holder of the following PADI Instructor specialty credentials:


He loves his marine life and the St Kilda Football Club equally. He loves to chat Aussie rules with anyone that cares to listen.

Yaowapa Dillard (Hua) – a.k.a The Boss of Everything

Hua - Aussie Divers Office Manager

Hua – Aussie DiversOffice Manager

Hua is born and breed in Phuket. She graduated from Broken Arrow High School in the USA. She is a cat person who also loves Japanese food. She started work for Aussie Divers Phuket 2nd of February 2015 after working for Andaman Ocean Safari’s for many years. A brilliant office manager and a great person to have on your side and knows that Phuket dive industry. She speaks fantastic English and is starting to learn a lot of Australian Slang. She is a loved member of the whole Aussie Divers team.

Scuba Diver Rating:

PADI Open Water Diver

Simon Creed

Simon Creed - PADI Master Instructor

Simon Creed – PADI Master Instructor

Simon is originally from Preston, Lancashire in the UK. 42 years old and after working in IT for 12 years he decided it wasn’t for him anymore and set his sites on world travel in 2008. Originally with a one year 13 country plan, with his first stop being Phuket, Thailand. Those plans changed as he never left Phuket and has now been living here for eleven years. His first dive was in Zakynthos, Greece where he did a PADI Discover Scuba Diving.

Unfortunately he didn’t see fish that day. He successfully did his PADI Divemaster course in July 2008 and since then I have made my way up the rankings and have since earned the Padi Master Instructor rating. In the past few years he has racked up over 3500 dives in the Andaman Sea and still love the diving we have here. He feels privileged to have some of the world’s best diving right here on his door step.

In his spare time he enjoys relaxing on Phuket’s glorious beaches and also enjoy a good spy thriller movie. When it comes to music he has a very diverse taste which can change from day to day. He cites being a bit of a 70’s and 80’s man with ABBA being top of his list through that era and Brittany Spears his idol in the 80’s.

He loves the great local food but says you still can’t beat a good bowl of Italian pasta from time to time.

Specialty Instructor Certifications:

And is a DSAT Gas Blender

Ashley Walker

Ashley Walker - PADI Master Instructor

Ashley Walker – PADI Master Instructor

Ashley Walker is a country Australian, with a passion for the water. This is surprising since Ashley was born in the middle of a 10 year drought, in the same small country town as Darren Gaspari, Mildura. Moving to Ballarat closer to the ocean is when Ash found his craving for salt water, this only grew stronger with a move to the sunny Gold Coast and living a life on the beach in his teenage years.

Its surprising that it wasn’t until the age of 26 that Ash did his first DSD dive in Phuket, Thailand and found his passion for Scuba Diving and for Thailand. After that trip to South East Asia Ashley went home and enrolled in the PADI Zero to Hero program, changing his career path from retail management to PADI Pro in 2010. With a strong background in retail Ashley entrenched himself into the dive industry working as a Sales, Marketing and Technical Manager for Mares Asia Pacific. This is how he met Darren G. promoting Aussie Divers at ADEX in 2012, amazing since Ash and Darren both originate from a town with a population of just 30,000 people.

Working as a PADI Dive Instructor in some of the best diving destinations in the world, including the a year on a remote island in the Great Barrier Reef, it was a natural progression to move to Phuket and start work with Aussie Divers early in 2016. With well over 3000 dives throughout Asia Pacific Ashley has moved up through the PADI Professional ranks earning his IDC Staff Instructor Rating at Aussie Divers. His passion for diving flows into the specialty course’s he can teach below (Can also assist you with “true blue” Aussie Slang as well).

Specialty Instructor Certifications:

And is a DSAT Gas Blender

Martin Ruhoff

Martin Ruhoff Aussie Divers Phuket Scuba Diving Padi 5 Star IDC Dive Centre

Martin Ruhoff Aussie Divers Phuket Scuba Diving Padi 5 Star IDC Dive Centre

Martin Ruhoff – PADI MSDT Instructor

Hailing from Denmark in the cold north of Europe Martin began his love of scuba diving more than a decade ago in Ao Nang Thailand. As with most of us he caught the scuba diving bug and has never looked back. He has now been teaching in Thailand for almost ten years.

Martin’s easy going and relaxed Scandinavian persona makes him an excellent and well respected instructor and we are proud to have him on our books at Aussie Divers Phuket. He is also an avid underwater photographer and talking about underwater photos with customers and students.

He has dived many countries of the world including Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Palau, Indonesia, Turkey and many others.

If you are interested in Technical Diving then Martin is our Tech guru and the one to speak to about anything regarding the PADI Tech courses, going deeper and lasting longer. He is currently getting his dive hours up on CCR systems, and exploring for new Tec dive sites here in Phuket.

Wide range of specialties including

Three Minutes with MartinThree Minutes with Martin

Nina Morris

Nina Morris Aussie Divers Phuket Scuba Diving Padi Instructor

Nina Morris Aussie Divers Phuket Scuba Diving Padi Instructor

Nina Morris – PADI MSDT Instructor

Hailing from Cumbria, in sunny England, somewhere near Wales we are told. Nina is a superstar of diving here in Phuket and the Similan Islands, she has an extremely keen eye for macro is very lucky when it comes to finding the bigger stuff like Whale Sharks, Giant Manta’s and Mola Mola, in fact we think she might be part fish.

Nina did her Divemaster in Utila, Honduras and thankfully escaped from that horribly fun place to come and do her Instructor course and work here in Phuket.

Nina is also some-what responsible for global warming, as she is one of seven children and could easily beat up her brothers after working in Australia as a Muay Thai Instructor for many years.

Fitness freak and marathon runner, videographer and general all round smiley face on the day trips boats we are glad to have Nina working for us here at Aussie Divers Phuket!

She has the following specialty instructor certifications

Andre Engstrom

Andre Engstrom

Andre Engstrom

Andre Engstrom – PADI OWSI Instructor

Andre is from one of the coldest places on earth Helsingborg, Sweden and it is no wonder that he needed to find a warmer climate to work.

Andre is unique in the sense that most instructors have fallen in love with scuba diving. Andre actually fell in love with a girl that fell in love with scuba diving and he just tagged along. She has long gone but Andre is still here.

Andre is one of the easiest going dive instructors and exudes the Swedish relaxed attitude to life which makes him a very good dive instructor.

Andre’s greatest claim to fame in the scuba diving industry is that he saw four whale sharks in one day at Richelieu Rock. A feat that he is constantly reminding the boss off (who is still yet to see a single Whaleshark).

Hailing from Sweden he also has a very good Swedish meatball recipe, which makes for a great feed at any of our staff gatherings & at Christmas parties.

Andre is a PADI OWSI has the following specialty instructor certifications


Tom Domville

Tom Domville - PADI Instructor

Tom Domville PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Tom Domville – PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Tom started diving in cold old England in 2010 and has since dived all over England. He has also dived in Scotland, Wales, Malta, Egypt and Thailand.

He did his PADI Instructor Development Course in Phuket during 2013, retiring to England after that to teach for 12 months. He realised the error of his ways and returned to the lovely warm waters of Phuket to continue his PADI teaching career.

Tom is also a ScubaPro Service technician which comes in handy at times.

Tom is the closest thing that Aussie Divers Phuket has to a boy band member.

Tom’s instructor certifications include


Lara Weyhausen

Lara Weyhausen

Lara Weyhausen – Padi Instructor

Lara Weyhausen – PADI Instructor

Lara learned diving at the Great Barrier Reef whilst living in Australia and couldn’t help but fall in love with it. After some more dive trips to the Philippines and Tonga, it was set, diving is her passion and a change in career was necessary.

After completing her IDC & IE in Phuket she started freelancing gaining experience in Phuket and the Similan Islands. Feeling drawn back to Australians humorous people she reached out to the team at Aussie Divers and is now an important asset to Aussie Divers Phuket.

As it is in a Germans nature she loves rules organization and structure but having lived in Australia for several years she has learned to relax some more. This makes a good combination for a scuba diving instructor – firm but fun

Specialty Instructor Certifications

Three Minutes with LaraThree Minutes with Lara

Ashish Chhabria

Ashish Chhabria - PADI OWSI Instructor

Ashish Chhabria – PADI OWSI Instructor

Ashish Chhabria – PADI OWSI Instructor

Ashish joined the Aussie divers team early last year after completing his IDC & IE and gaining experience with several months of freelance work here in Phuket. The other Aussie Divers staff noticed how hard working & passionate he was and recommended he joined the team.

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Ashish has a background in computers and finance, prior to following his love for scuba diving and switching his career to become a PADI Instructor.

Ashish started his diving here in Thailand with his PADI Open Water course several years ago, he also has experience diving in Philippines and around South East Asia.

He has a huge passion for teaching and is a great instructor with a strong focus on making his course’s fun and educational.

Specialty Instructor Certifications

Chadatip Takoda (Praew) – Office Staff

Praew Office Staff Aussie Divers Phuket

(Praew) – Office Staff

Praew is born and Nakhon Ratchasima and is 26 years of age. Moved to Phuket when she was 10 years of aged. She went to college in Phuket also.

She has been working in the scuba diving industry for the last six years.

If you want a good deal on a dive computer she is the girl to see.

She has a really bad taste in music and equally bad at singing the songs.

Simon Ilett

Simon Ilett Aussie Divers Phuket Scuba Diving Padi Instructor

Simon Ilett Aussie Divers Phuket Scuba Diving Padi Instructor

Simon Ilett – PADI MSDT Instructor

Hailing from Tamworth, Australia, if you don’t know where that is, don’t worry about it because it’s a small town in the middle of no-where, left of it doesn’t matter.

Which is exactly why Simon now lives in Phuket and spends his time scuba diving, free diving, taking photo’s of really really small marine critters and generally planning to never return to his small town roots.

Simon also had a past life as a web developer but has since seen the error of his ways and tries hard to avoid working in an office that isn’t completely surrounded by ocean or sandy beaches.

He is also a well traveled scuba diver, having dove in volcanic crater lakes in Guatemala, Quarries in Pennsylvania New York, the Blue Hole in Belize, Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, Perhentian Islands Maylasia, Myanamar, Australia, Bali and probably some other places he doesn’t recall.

He has the following specialty instructor certifications

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A Diving Community In Phuket

Here at Aussie Divers we don't just consider ourselves a dive shop, we think of it as more, a big family of like minded individuals coming together to enjoy the marine environment here in Phuket & Thailand. We are always happy to chat with new divers or old, so please drop by the office anytime to see what is going on and if you have dived with us or want to dive with us than feel free to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our community Dive Blog and generally stay in touch & stay informed.

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