Who can join Unidive?

Anyone that wants to! You don't need to be a UQ student or even a student at all. We even have some members that don't have a dive certification - they can't dive with the club (and they can join their friends at our social functions anyway) so we're still trying to figure that one out! Some of them do play underwater rugby, so I guess that makes sense!

Where does Unidive meet?

The Unidive Club meets every Thursday night at the gear shed. The gear shed is located behind the UQ Swimming Pool on Sir William McGregor Drive. New members can sign up at the shed between 6 pm and 6.45 pm.

How do I get my log-in details?

Your website login details will be sent automatically when the Membership Officer approves your membership, which will be done after you have registered on the website, paid your membership fee, and done anything else the Membership Officer asked you to do (like show them your student card or certification etc). We dabbled in waiting until after you've done the swim test before approving you, but that seems to just cause headaches all around so we're not doing that currently.

How do I sign up for the swim test?

The arrangements for the swim test are changing regularly due to UQ sports policy and pool procedures. Please check the 'home' page for the latest details.

The swim test registrations on the website are set to allow public signups, so please just find the event on the website calendar and add your name to the date and time you intend to do the test. This is just to give UQ Sport an idea of numbers and a heads up on the list, to make it easier for them in regards to staffing requirements etc... So if you haven't signed up but the deadline and desperately still want to make that time slot, then just come along anyway. If you absolutely can't make any of the times listed on the website, then it is possible for you to make an appointment with the UQ Aquatic Centre staff by calling them ahead of time - it will have to be during a quiet time, so be prepared to negotiate what's possible. You will get a certificate when you pass - make sure you show that to the Membership Officer, as we do not get a list of names and the onus is on you, the member, to tell us when you've passed the test!

What happens if I fail the swim test?

Being able to swim relatively well is necessary to be a safe diver and/or underwater rugby player, especially in a club environment where we don't have paid DMs to hold your hand. It's also a condition of membership that you agree to follow UQ Sport's rules, which means that if you can't pass the swim test (400m without stopping, 2min treading water) then you can't participate in any "water-based activities". And since pretty much all our activities are water-based, there's not much point in being a member. So, we suggest you take some swimming lessons, do some practice, and try again later. You can also contact the President (or a suitable exec delegate) to approve a membership refund on the basis that you're unable to pass the test - this will be granted only if you've actually tried and not passed.

How can I know if you've got my swim test result processed in the computer system?

If you log in to this website, you'll see your own membership information. Under "My Groups" it should say "Swim Test Passed". If it doesn't and you think it should, please email membership@unidive.org and ask the Membership Officer to check why not. You won't be able to sign up for events without it having been done and names do get missed here and there, especially if you test your test before you registered online.

Why can't I sign up to this trip?

Obviously the answer varies, but usually if you're trying to book on to a trip and can't it's one of these reasons:

  • The trip hasn't been advertised/opened yet - we put planned trips on the calendar, but don't open them for registration until the organiser is ready for you!
  • The trip has closed already - some of the commercial operators we work with require finalisation of numbers well ahead of time, so we have to close registrations at that point.
  • The trip is set to only allow boathandlers to register - obviously we can't do a club boat trip without someone to drive the boat... so we do give them a chance to sign up before opening up to others. Just be patient, it will open up soon - and an advertisement email should come out when it does.
  • You either haven't passed the swim test yet, or you haven't been added to the "swim test passed" group yet. Check your profile (see above) - if you need to be added to the group, show your certificate to the Membership Officer and ask them to fix it up. If you don't have a certificate yet, you'll need to do the swim test - see above.

Do you have any Refreshers Workshops running soon?

  • We do not run refresher courses.
  • Some of our experienced members do run workshops for current members who haven't dived in a while, which cover similar content. These are workshops, not courses - you will not get a certificate and not all commercial operators will consider them sufficient.
  • They are for current members only. They fill up super, super fast.
  • They don't run very often, only because we don't have enough members with a suitable level of knowledge, skills and willingness to run lead them. Mostly they run when DMTs and newbie DMs want to have a practice. Yes, we'd love to do them more often since they're always so popular, but everything is done on a volunteer basis and it is a LOT of work for the workshop leaders. Most of those who lead these workshops are the same people who step up to do a lot of other things for the club, all for nothing but a nice warm feeling of having contributed.
  • If you are looking to join the club and haven't dived in a while, don't wait around for a refresher to go up on the calendar - if you do, it will likely fill up before you've had a chance to join. If it hasn't been that long and you were quite experienced before your break, talk to the Training Officer about other potential options.

Can I learn to dive with the club? Can I do my Open Water course through the club?

Instructors at the club occasionaly teach open water courses, keep on eye on the courses schedule or email the dive officer for info about open water courses.

  • What is the student to instructor ratio?
    • 8 students to 1 instructor is the maximum ratio.
  • What types of dives are included?
    • Just shore dives? Or are their boat dives too? Shore dives are cheaper and including boat dives will add a fair bit to the cost, but doing entries and exits and gearing up on a boat are all skills you'll want to have.
  • What sites do you go to?
    • Flinders Reef / Cook Island / Tweed River / Southport Seaway / Wave Break Island / Munjimba island / Mooloolah river are all open water diver training sites.
  • How big is the boat?
    • The boat is a 6.5 metre swift rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB).
  • What's included?
    • Some courses look really cheap because they don't actually include the theory component - you have to do that online through the agency's website and pay the agency directly. That's totally fine, but make sure you're comparing apples with apples.
    • Some shops include freebies (like wetsuits or other gear), which is fine if that's someone you were going to buy anyway. If you're not really sure whether you're going to stick with things, then maybe it's better to hire gear to start with. We suggest getting your own mask though - a mask that fits is essential!
    • You'll also find some of the courses require you to get out of town (Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast areas), so you should check if travel, accommodation and any meals are included - once again, it doesn't affect the course but make sure you're comparing apples with apples on price. If you have to pay to stay on the Gold Coast in order to do the cheaper shore dive option, then it may end up more expensive over all than taking the boat dive option without the accommodation!
  • Which agency are they affiliated with?
    • Generally, it doesn't really matter these days as they're all recognised everywhere and most people who go to shops will end up doing PADI or SSI - they're the big two and there's really not a lot of difference between them. If you want a more in depth course, you may want to consider the less commercial options like CMAS, BSAC or GUE. Their courses will take longer because they include more, but if that's what you're looking for then contact our Training Officer (training@unidive.org) and they can help you find a local contact.

How come I'm not getting the trip advertisement emails?

It could be that your membership has expired (email the memberships officer if you'd like to check), but it's also likely that the emails are going to spam. Bulk emails sent from this website (like the trip advertisement ones) tend to get picked up as spam for a variety of reasons. We have discussed this with the website host, but at this stage it is not something they are going to change. Generally setting a filter works to prevent them going to the spam folder with most email providers, but if that doesn't work then we may need to figure something else out...

How do I contact people in the club?

We have two mailing lists: chat@unidive. org and members@unidive.org. - The members list is for club business, such as advertising club events and trip reports. The chat list is for stuff that's of interest to members but not strictly club business.

Do you do freediving?

Not any more. We recommend going to a freediving focused club and learning from a qualified instructor. You can try these guys to find out more: https://australianfreediving.org/clubs/ or https://www.apneaaustralia.com.au/

I lost my card, can you look up my certification?

Apparently way back in the past (the club is 50+ years old!) Unidive did NAUI certifications. Unfortunately we don't do this any more and we also no longer have the records from that time, so we're not able to reissue lost certification cards or confirm prior certifications.

If you have a PADI certification then you may be able to talk one of our instructors into looking it up for you, but as we're not a shop we don't have access to their database ourselves. You really should just get a new card. Same goes for the other agencies - we don't have access to their databases and we're not affiliated with any particular agency, so maybe if you can find the right flavour of instructor but generally you'll have to go direct to the agency.

Which certification agencies do you recognise?

Pretty much every international diving agency. PADI, NAUI, BSAC, SSI, CMAS, GUE, TDI, SDI etc. If you're not from one of these, come down to the shed and have a chat and we'll figure it out.

Can I get Unidive emails if I'm not a member?

For some reason this is actually a frequently asked question. We're mystified why people would want to be spammed about events they can't join in... The short answer is no, you need to be a member. We do generally allow prospective members to join our Facebook group, so that's the way to go if you just want to see what we're about and ask some questions. But do remember, it's a public page and will we remove unsavoury posts and the people who put them up.

Can I pay my membership or gear rental by EFTPOS?

Yes! We now have EFTPOS machines available at the shed. Please note there will be a small amount surcharge by the bank.

Can I pay online?

For membership: Yes! You can pay your membership registration or renewal fees online by following the prompts in the Registration tab of our website! Just select which action you'd like to take (register as a new member, or renew an existing membership), enter your details and membership type, then proceed to online payment! 

For gear loans: No! Loans of any dive gear (see Diving > Loans tab for details) must be done in person at the Shed on Thursday nights with our Loans Officer. These transactions can be made using cash or EFTPOS payment!

Can I pay my membership at UQ Sport?

No. Apparently this was a thing in the past, but it isn't any more. If you really can't make it to the shed on Thursday nights (we know our Gatton colleagues have a good excuse!), please contact the Membership Officer to arrange another option. But of course, if you can't make it on Thursday nights you'll find it difficult to join in trips (you'll miss the pre-trip meetings) and almost impossible to hire gear.

I'm not a native English speaker and worry that I'm not entirely understanding the safety briefs

This is definitely an important thing for you to bring up with the trip organiser as early as possible. We want everyone to be safe and with our amazingly multicultural club we can probably find someone who speaks your native language to help you out if you ask. There's also a lot of online resources that can be very helpful, for example this one is mostly aimed at snorkelers but the surface signals are the same: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/diving-snorkelling/diving-and-snorkelling-hazards/non-english-speaking-participants

Gear Hire

The gear hire page should have the answer to all of your questions. If not, please let us know! The important thing to know is that our gear is for our members to use on club trips; use by members for non-club trips is secondary and you really shouldn't just assume you can join up just to get cheap gear hire.

Can you send me the dive calendar or a list of upcoming dives?

No, upcoming dives are listed on the Events page and advertised by email to members. They're also organised by members and often not long before they occur, so if you think the calendar looks a bit empty that's just because we haven't got around to it yet... we're not a shop, we don't have people employed to run trips, we have members who organise the trips they want to do when they want to do them - so we rarely have things on the calendar more than a couple of weeks ahead.

I can’t get on a dive? What do I do?

The best way to get on a dive is to come down to the Shed on a Thursday night and talk to people. You will hear about trips as they get conceived and have a chance to talk to the trip organisers. Of course, the absolute best way to get on a trip is to organise one yourself. So come down to the shed and meet the old hands who can talk you through it - those of us who've been around for a while are more than happy to mentor the newbies on trip organisation. And don't worry, you don't have to be a DM or know everything about diving - trip organisation is more about logistics (who's in what car, booking the boat, collecting and disbursing the money) and you can (and should!) delegate the diving stuff to someone more experienced if you need to. Members should see the Organising a Trip page (members only; requires log in). There are plenty of members down at the Shed who will help you out. Don’t be shy – get involved :-)

Can my partner/friend/children come on Unidive trips with me?

You must be a club member to go on the club boat, so the answer is no for those trips (but they're so cheap, your friend might as well just join!), though for camping trips like Wolf Rock they could come along for the camping part. Non-members are welcome to make up the numbers on club trips with commercial operators or charters, but members have priority. Some trips have limited space for logistical reasons, so the final decision is always up to the trip organiser. Please also note that non-members are not allowed to use any club gear, including tanks.

If you wish to bring children on trips, particularly overnight trips, *you* are responsible for them at all times and *you* are responsible for finding an appropriate babysitter while you're diving. Do not expect to be able to just leave them with the group - you must have organised a specific person to look after them while you're not there. You also need to check with the trip organiser beforehand - there isn't always enough space. The trip organiser has the last word on this too.

Can my teenager join and dive with you?

If they have an open water certfication (not one of the bubblemaker or other children's programs) they can join and dive within their certification. However, we require their buddy to be an adult who is responsible for them. That doesn't necessarily have to be their parent, as if the parent isn't a particularly experienced diver themselves it may be safer to have someone else take on this responsibility. But the parent needs to confirm with the trip organiser who that person is going to be and that person also needs to confirm that they have agreed to take on the responsibility. The agreement should be recorded (even just as an email).

How come my email didn't go to who I thought it would go to?

Because you didn't check the reply address. When trip organisers and committee members send emails using the website it defaults the committee as the reply-to address. It is now possible (yay) to change this when they send the email, but they often forget. So please always check the reply address to make sure you're not spamming the committee or even the whole members list.