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Girls that Scuba Ambassadors 2021-22

Girls that Scuba Ambassadors 2021-22

Girls that Scuba was founded on the simple idea of creating a safe space to celebrate women in scuba diving. Over the past five years we’ve grown a hugely diverse group of members and cultivated a positive, supportive community. 

Our Girls that Scuba Ambassador Programme was launched during 2020 with a group of ten incredible divers. Despite their ambassadorship falling during a relatively dry period for many ocean lovers, our first group of ambassadors accomplished some incredible achievements. They truly represented our wider community, whilst spreading the GTS message of elevating positive representations of women in the scuba diving industry. 

Following in their footsteps – or fin kicks – we are incredibly excited to introduce you to our second intake of Girls that Scuba Ambassadors for 2021-22. Let’s meet them!

Please Note: Ambassador applications are currently closed and we do not accept nominations by email. We will update this page and our social channels with details when we’re open for our next intake of ambassadors!

Alexa Fernando

Alexa Fernando Girls that Scuba Ambassador standing smiling at camera, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Alexa (she/her) is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor currently based in Baja, although she has lived and dived in many places – including the Philippines, Taiwan, and Canada. Her initial interest in diving came from her Dad, and she was certified as a teenager. However, she ended up taking a seven year surface interval before returning to diving in 2019.  

Her passion is in connecting with others, whether that’s through language, food or digital media. She believes that her purpose is to inspire other girls, especially Filipina women, to discover themselves through travelling the world and connecting with other cultures. 

Alexa loves bringing people together, and becoming an instructor has meant she can invite people to join her in the ocean. Through storytelling and encouraging more people to explore our oceans, she hopes to make an impact on diversifying the dive industry.

Madison Bowden-Parry

Madison Bowden-Parry Girls that Scuba Ambassador standing smiling at camera, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Madi (she/her) is a Behavioural Ecologist, Marine Photographer, and Science Communicator based in Wales. Since learning to dive in 2014 she has spent her time gaining recreational and professional diving experience in locations such as Australia, Egypt, Mexico, Iceland, and of course at home in Wales. Madi is currently working towards her Divemaster certification. 

She is a scientist and community conservationist with vast experience working in collaboration with NGOs, academic institutions and governmental bodies. Her projects have included large scale biodiversity restoration, behaviour-change focussed conservation and environmental engagement, and system-change climate and biodiversity campaigns. 

Through her work, Madi educates, empowers and inspires others to champion change for the natural world, as well as gives them the confidence and tools that they need to make real conservation impact in their local community.

Julia Aveline Rabenjoro

Julia Aveline Rabenjoro Girls that Scuba Ambassador wearing scuba equipment, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

At 13 years old, Julia (she/her) is our youngest Girls that Scuba ambassador to date! She lives and dives in the underwater paradise of Sabah, Malaysia, and has been scuba diving since she was 8. 

Her impressive list of scuba accomplishments includes many reef cleanups, underwater net removals, and crown of thorns removal dives. She has even been a spotter for a turtle tagging program. Having worked her way up through numerous courses, Julia has recently achieved her Rescue Diver certification. 

Julia runs Seed of Hope, a Facebook page dedicated to environmental and marine conservation. As part of raising awareness of these issues, she hosts a series of interviews on the page with local and international guests – these have included experts in their fields, passionate conservationists, and wildlife photographers. 

Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell Girls that Scuba Ambassador carries an underwater camera in freediving equipment, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Jessica (she/her) is a technical diver and Underwater Filmmaker based in Cornwall, UK, where she grew up. Having snorkelled and freedived from a young age, Jessica has always loved the sea and she certified as a diver in 2009. 

Wanting to turn the ocean into her career, Jessica decided to go into underwater photography and filmmaking. After studying Marine and Natural History Photography in 2011, she began freelancing in the Natural History filmmaking industry. This has allowed her to dive all over the world – from the UK to locations such as Norway, Australia, and Belize.

Jessica has recently begun developing her freediving skills by taking formal courses. This has been a huge part of her mental health journey, enabling her to explore her body and capabilities more. Diving has been an important part of her life, and she hopes her work can show how beautiful the ocean is and inspire people to actively protect and conserve by pursuing sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyles.

Tanasia Swift

Tanasia Swift Girls that Scuba Ambassador standing smiling at camera, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Tanasia (she/her) is a Marine Educator and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and despite growing up in a landlocked neighbourhood she has always found her way to the ocean. 

She fished with her father as a child, explored open water swimming and boating, and studied marine life before becoming a certified diver at the age of 17. After her first experiences underwater she fell in love with this new world. 

Realising that many NYC students may not be able to experience the beauty of the oceans in their lifetime, she makes it her duty to introduce students to marine life in their backyards and brings the ocean to life by sharing her water stories with them. She hopes that more urban youth will pursue careers in marine science and aspires to build a more inclusive water community. 

Lisa McIntyre

Lisa McIntyre Girls that Scuba Ambassador standing smiling at camera holding a flag for her charity SeaSmart, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Lisa (she/her) didn’t start diving until her 40s, proving that you can be bitten by the dive bug later in life and still have it become your passion – and even your profession!

Working as a Divemaster in New York City, she enjoys assisting student divers as well as encouraging those already certified to return to the joy of diving. She particularly enjoys teaching specialty ocean conservation certification classes, and also pursues underwater photography. This is both a hobby, and also helps her to advocate for the ocean and its inhabitants.

Lisa is the Executive Director of SeaSmart, a non-profit that works to develop ocean advocates by educating middle and high school students of all backgrounds about diving, ocean conservation and marine science. She is committed to nurturing the next generation of female scuba divers, and to addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities, through SeaSmart scholarship opportunities and mentorships. 

Nadia (Najmeh) Azizabadi

Nadia Azizabadi Girls that Scuba Ambassador talking to camera, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Nadia (she/her) is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and technical diver based in Tasmania, Australia. Originally from Iran, Nadia had a more unusual journey to learning to dive than many people. 

When she moved to Australia in 2014, Nadia didn’t know how to swim. Seeing an underwater hockey session inspired her to teach herself to swim, by watching others and using online resources. This developed into a love for the water that led her to become an accomplished diver, and competitive underwater hockey and rugby player.

The lack of swimming education for adults in her area led Nadia to found the From Zero To Hero Program. Her specialised aquatic education initiative focuses on adult migrants who don’t know how to swim. They train students step by step, from swimming to scuba diving and all other water sports, helping them to achieve their goals. 

Annika Andresen

Annika Andresen Girls that Scuba Ambassador standing smiling at camera wearing scuba gear, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Annika (she/her) is a dive instructor and environmental educator from Aotearoa, New Zealand. She was the first Global Underwater Explorers NextGen Global Scholar, and she aims to ignite a sense of wonder with what lies below the surface and show the different opportunities in scuba diving. 

She has a master’s in Architecture which has led her to combine design and scientific knowledge to enhance the understanding of the ocean for the wider public. Over the last two years, Annika has been leading the NZ-VR programme, teaching over 40,000 students about our oceans through 360º videos that are experienced in VR headsets. 

Logging more than 550 hours underwater, Annika has guided over 600 people beneath the surface and her favourite part is the people she has met along the way. Annika hopes to educate others to understand and cherish our marine environment to better protect it for the years to come. 

Rosie Bancroft

Rosie Bancroft Girls that Scuba Ambassador sitting smiling at camera, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Rosie (she/her) is a newly qualified Divemaster from the UK, currently living and diving the dream in Indonesia. She was born missing her leg and used to represent GB for para-swimming, whilst studying for a degree in Zoology from University of Manchester. 

When she missed out on making the Rio 2016 Paralympic games she ended up on a solo travel trip around the world for a few months, during which she fell in love with scuba diving. Since then she has begun pursuing a career in diving and conservation. Rosie now blogs about her travels around the world, conservation work in Indonesia, and she also shared her journey to becoming a Divemaster. 

As well as scuba, she also freedives and is currently learning to surf. Rosie has never let her leg stop her from doing anything, and hopes to inspire others that they can do anything they set their minds to. 

Hamna Hussain

Hamna Hussain Girls that Scuba Ambassador smiling at camera, overlaid white text summarises her profile below

Hamna (she/her) is a Divemaster based in Fuvahmulah, Maldives, which is an island famed for tiger shark encounters. She is the only woman Divemaster on the island, and her presence is teaching the local dive community to be more open to a diverse range of divers. 

Diving with tiger sharks every day is humbling, and reminds Hamna that humans are just part of the natural world, coexisting alongside nature. She is passionate about sharing a message of being respectful of the world and doing as much as we can to protect it. 

Hamna loves that diving gives her the opportunity to share her passion for the ocean with people from different parts of the world. She hopes that she can inspire more women divers, particularly from small communities like hers, to live their lives to the fullest and follow their dreams.