Australian Underwater Federation

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Australian Underwater Federation
Legal statusIncorporated association, Victoria (Australia)
PurposeNational Sporting Organisation
for underwater sports & recreational diving
Region served
Graham Henderson
Key people
Richard (Dick) Charles, founder[2]
Harry Howell
Frank Poole
Wal Williams
George Davies BEM
Merv Sheehan
Tony Leslie
John Gillies
Gordon Ward
Wally Gibbons
Mel Brown
Toni DeFina
Graham Henderson
Tom Ransom
Richard Lane
Allen Hunt
Sue Dockar
Mary-Anne Stacey
Dr Adam Smith
Barry Andrewartha
Main organ
Recfish Australia
Formerly called
Underwater Spearfishermen's Association of Australia

The Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) is the governing body for underwater sports in Australia.


The mission of the AUF is:[4]

Bringing Sport, Conservation and Awareness to the Underwater World.


The AUF is a membership-based organisation whose day-to-day operations are overseen by a federal board and by a number of committees (known as commissions) for following activities – finswimming (commission known as Ozfin Inc.), scuba, snorkel, spearfishing and underwater hockey (commission known as Underwater Hockey Australia). It also currently has state branches in New South Wales (incorporated as the Underwater Skindivers & Fishermen's Association Inc) and Queensland, and state commissions for finswimming and underwater hockey in most states.[5][6][7][8]


The AUF is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission as the national sporting organisation (NSO) for underwater sports in Australia.[9] It is the Australian representative to Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS), with full voting rights to the Sports and Technical Committees and non-voting rights to the Scientific Committee.[10] The AUF is a member of the World AquaChallenge Association (WAA) and Recfish Australia.[11][12][13] It is also one of the organisations represented on the Standards Australia's Committee CS/83, Recreational Underwater Diving.[14]

Underwater sports[edit]

The AUF is the governing body for the following underwater sports within Australia: spearfishing, underwater hockey, finswimming and underwater rugby.[15]

Diver training[edit]

Historically, the AUF operated as a diver training organisation offering instructor training and certification, and recreational diver certification in both snorkel and scuba diving. It currently issues CMAS International Diving certificates in its capacity as a member of the CMAS Technical Committee in respect to its own training programs and those offered by FAUI (formerly the Federation of Australian Underwater Instructors and now known as the Formation of Australian Underwater Instructors) and the now-defunct Australian branch of NAUI.[16][17]

AUF currently offers training in snorkelling (including breath-hold technique) for open water and pool environments, and in coaching levels accredited with the Australian Government's National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) for three sports. Originally launched in 1985 under the name of the School Snorkelling Programme, the openwater training stream (known as Ocean) supports both recreational diving as well as the sports of spearfishing and photofishing (a breath-hold version of the sport of underwater photography offered by CMAS) while the pool stream is intended to develop proficiencies in finswimming and underwater hockey. The following instructional levels are currently offered – Finswimming Coach Level 1 and 2, Ocean Coach level 1 and 2, and Underwater Hockey Coach Level 1 and 2.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brown, Mel. "USFA/AUF To Celebrate Its Diamond Jubilee". The Underwater Skindivers & Fishermen's Association Inc. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  2. ^ Cunneen, Chris, 'Charles, Richard Stanley (Dick) (1901–1974)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Life Members". Australian Underwater Federation. Archived from the original on 5 March 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  4. ^ Australian Underwater Federation. "About the Australian Underwater Federation".
  5. ^ "AUF Constitution". Australian Underwater Federation. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  6. ^ "WELCOME TO OZFIN – AUSTRALIAN FIN SWIMMING". Ozfin Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Mission Statement". Underwater Skindivers & Fishermen's Association Inc. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  8. ^ Underwater Hockey Australia. "Underwater Hockey Australia".
  9. ^ "National Sporting Organisations recognised by the Australian Sports Commission (as at February 2012)" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2020.[dead link]
  10. ^ "AUSTRALIAN UNDERWATER FEDERATION". Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  11. ^ Randell, Luke. "Australian Underwater Federation – Queensland – Spearfishing Commissioner".
  12. ^ "Australian Underwater Federation". Australian Underwater Federation. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  13. ^ "(Recfish Australia) Current Members". Australian Recreational and Sport Fishing Industry Confederation Inc. Archived from the original on 8 January 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  14. ^ Committee CS/83, Recreational Underwater Diving (2000). Australian Standard AS4005.1, Training and certification of recreational divers Part 1: Minimum entry-level SCUBA diving (2nd, 2000 ed.). Standards Australia. p. ii. ISBN 0 7337 3268 2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Hoh, Amanda. "What tries beneath: official nod for hidden depths of underwater rugby". Sunday Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Membership for CMAS Diver Certification". Australian Underwater Federation. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  17. ^ "About FAUI". Formation of Australian Underwater Instructors. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  18. ^ Australian Underwater Federation. School Snorkelling Programme; Poole, Frank (1985), Standards and procedures handbook / compiled by Frank Poole, Australian Underwater Federation

External links[edit]