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OZDive Show & OZTek Advanced Diving Conference : October 1-2, 2022 at the MCEC
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Deborah Johnston

Deborah Johnston a well loved OZTek presenter

Deborah Johnston

Cave explorer; passionate about finding, documenting and sharing new cave discoveries - both above and below water

 

Deborah has been exploring and documenting caves all around Australia and New Zealand with the Sydney University Speleological Society (SUSS) for the past 20 years. She is passionate about finding, documenting and sharing new cave discoveries - both above and below water.

Deborah Johnston cave diving in NSW talking at OZTek Advanced Diving Conference

Deborah Johnston getting dirty cave diving - presenter at OZTek Advanced Diving Conference

Deborah Johnston cave explorer and presenter at OZTek Advanced Diving Conference

Deborah in her many glamorous ensembles during sump and cave diving explorations

Deborah's main cave diving interest has been at the famous and ancient Jenolan Caves (the world's oldest dated cave system) which is home to a long history of incredible diving feats spanning from the 1950s to present day. It is here, Deborah and her team of 'SUSS' divers have made many significant discoveries by working together on monthly exploration trips.

This exploration is sump diving; where getting equipment to the dives within the caves often involves hours of backbreaking climbing, laddering, crawling, squeezing and abseiling through muddy underground passages with heavy bags of dive gear just to reach the water's edge. These sump dives are harsh, with little-to-no visibility, 14 degree Celsius water, sharp and unstable rock, and tight restrictions; all requiring creative gear configurations, a calm nature, and meticulous planning to succeed. Some of these sumps exceed 50 and 100m depth, requiring decompression and altitude technical diving skills. These techniques and configurations are practiced and maintained using deep wreck diving in the ocean as a training ground to prepare for project cave dives.

Deborah is a member of the Explorers Club and NSW Cave Rescue Squad for over 11 years. Her Slug Lake Exploration Project has received funding from the Australian Geographic Society.

Deborah Johnston cave explorer and presenter at OZTek Advanced Diving Conference