President: Michael Bates (QLD)
Michael has long had an affinity with the ocean, learning to scuba dive at 14 on the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea, where he grew up. Fast forward a decade, and studying the ocean became his life when he did his PhD in ocean physics. Michael commenced apnea sports during his post-graduate studies when he took up underwater hockey. While working as a research scientist at MIT, he got his first taste of freediving in the Bahamas, during a freediving course in the legendary Dean’s Blue Hole. Within several years Michael was regularly competing and had become a freediving instructor. These days, when he isn’t freediving or playing underwater hockey, he is a research scientist in Brisbane developing mathematical models of marine ecosystems.
Treasurer: Aya Mizumura (QLD)
Aya has been involved in competitive freediving for a decade. Born and raised in Tokyo, she discovered the beauty of underwater world via scuba and was soon attracted to freediving because of its freedom. She trained and competed with many top freedivers in Japan, coaching at the 2008 AIDA World Championships. She is an International Judge with experience in organising competitions, including the AIDA Team World Championships in Okinawa in 2010, Australian National Pool Championships 2014, the 2015 Pan Pacific Championships, among others. She is based in Brisbane and is a member of the Brisbane Freedivers. Aya is a keen conservationist and works to protect the forests and oceans across the Asia-Pacific – and freedives conservation project sites she’s involved in.
Secretary: Lisa Borg (SA)
Water has always been a central part of Lisa’s life. She first discovered the underwater world through scuba and has travelled extensively for diving. Following a catastrophic injury, she narrowly avoided paraplegia and has had a long road of recovery learning to reconnect with her body. A few years after her accident, she decided to try freediving during a trip to Bali. She loves the freedom and challenge the sport brings as well as the mind-body connection it requires. She began training with the SA Freedivers in 2016. Prior to her spinal injury she was a project manager and business improvement consultant specialising in change management. She is now following her passions, studying to become a personal trainer, and hopes to help others rehabilitate from injuries to regain their strength and independence.
Technical Officer & AIDA Liaison: Jody Fisher (SA)
Jody has always had a passion for all things aquatic; formerly a competitive swimmer, she began freediving in late 2010. A 15-time national record holder, she is the sole Australian to hold a world title, winning gold at the 2011 AIDA Pool World championships. Following a Masters from the University of Adelaide, she was a recipient of the Faculty (Science) prize and a University Medal at Flinders University, where she is undertaking a PhD in mathematics and biophysics as a Fulbright and Playford Trust Scholar, also holding an AUS/NZ Industrial and Applied Mathematics Society fellowship. With a research background involving the metabolic efficiency of swimming and interest in apnea physiology, Jody liaises with researchers worldwide to keep abreast of the latest in freediving science.
Clubs Officer: Lewis Jones (QLD)
Originally coming from the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, Lewis has called Brisbane home for the last 5 years. Beginning his sub-aquatic life with scuba diving, he soon started working in the industry in NZ as a guide then became a PADI Instructor after moving to Australia. After discovering the sport of freediving through a course, Lewis started training with the Brisbane Freedivers and has since become an instructor. Lewis competes both in Australia and overseas and is a senior administrator for the Brisbane Freedivers. When he’s out of the water he’s a graphic designer currently working in the signage industry.
Competitions Officer: Jack Hatfield (NSW)
Jack has been involved in the diving scene from a young age, with a background in spearfishing, scuba and competitive freediving. Based in Sydney, Jack is part of the team administrating the Sydney freediving club, and is involved in the education side of the sport as an instructor. He is a strong advocate for the healthy lifestyle changes freediving encourages.
Media Officer: Jessica Lawson (QLD)
Jessica Lawson grew up in the mountains far away from the sea, and graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2013. Since then, she has been working as a freelance writer for arts and gardening magazines whilst travelling the world. During her travels in the South Caribbean, Jessica began freediving; less than a year later, she began competing on the international stage. Jessica was awarded as the AFA’s Best Newcomer in 2015 and is currently studying psychotherapy.
Sponsorship Officer: Samson McAdam (WA)
Growing up next to the Indian Ocean, Samson has had a lifelong connection with the sub-aquatic world. With post-graduate qualifications in sustainable development, Samson brings his experience in risk management and regulation to the AFA through his work as an environmental toxicologist for the government. For Samson, freediving has become a holistic lifestyle as a combination of work and pleasure, and he is now a full time professional freediving instructor. Having spent time in the Australian Army, he has a keen interest in researching the applicability of freediving as a stress management tool for military veterans. Samson is currently studying to qualify as an expedition paramedic in order to run workshops and retreats.
Victorian Representative: Matthew Kovaks