|Ocean Guardians is dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring action for our fragile marine environment to unite the world for our oceans.||
“Pride” for what people believe in;
The true Guardians are the beautiful animals and all the life that forms the watery ecosystems we call Oceans and Seas. Unfortunately these natural Guardians are helpless against the biggest threat to their very existence. Humans.
Ironically it is this very threat that can also be its saviour, the human Ocean Guardians. guard·i·an Noun /gärdēən/ : A defender, protector, or keeper.
Ocean Guardians are people who care for our oceans, who are proud to make a statement about who they are and to stand up about what they believe in. Ocean Guardians want to be heard and seek likeminded people who appreciate and share their passion. These include but are not limited to scuba divers, freedivers, snorkelers, industry professionals, adventurers, environmentalists & everyone who love the ocean & marine life. Are you an Ocean Guardian?
The concept of Ocean Guardians was a dream of Cherie’s since she started scuba diving in 1998. As her passion for diving and the ocean grew so did the desire within her for OG to become a reality. It remained just a dream until early 2005 when she was forced to stop due to medical reasons. Instead of curling up and watching tv for the mandatory rest from working in her Mobile Dog Grooming Business, Cherie took advantage of the opportunity to attend a small business course provided through the government. This course not only allowed Cherie the distraction she needed but also nurtured her idea and allowed it to be become real. In searching for the perfect name, it was her boyfriend Jim (now husband) who put the words Ocean and Guardians together, thanks Jim!
It was in early May 2005 when Ocean Guardians and Scuba Goddess divewear were officially born. As Jim and Cherie’s relationship evolved so did Ocean Guardians. Starting small in our home town Nelson Bay, NSW Australia with friends and our local diving community it then grew to become a worldwide community thanks to facebook. With the overwhelming support and growth of interest in the facebook page it became time to bring it all together on our very own website. Those who know us are aware that this website has been a long time coming.
Ocean Guardians has been the biggest accomplishment in Cherie’s life. It would not have been possible without the unwavering love together with the physical, emotional and financial support of Jim. Jim believed in Cherie even in those times when she did not believe in herself.
Cherie Adams Dodd
Cherie puckers up in Halifax Park Nelson Bay, NSW Australia
Firstly the name Cherie is pronounced Sherry, yes like the wine! I was born in Sydney, Australia in the mid 70′s. At the age of 8 I relocated to California, USA with my mother. I would travel back to Australia every year to spend my 2 month summer vacation (which was always in the Australian winter) with my father, younger brother and sister as well as other extended family whom all lived in Sydney.
I was always a bit artistic and in my early teens I would hand paint onto t-shirts but for some reason I stopped doing my art until I was in my late 30s. Since the age of 3 I wanted to become a Vet because of my love for animals but in year 12 I discovered the art of Wyland and was further introduced to marine animals in biology. Suddenly I was torn.
In Nov 1996 I relocated to Sydney and shortly after started my experience with the Sydney Aquarium, where my love and understanding of the ocean and it’s inhabitants grew. I would spend my breaks sitting under the shark tunnel mesmerised by the grey nurse sharks and large rays. I first took the plunge Feb 1998 when a co-worker asked me “what are you doing this weekend? I am learning to Scuba Dive wanna come?” I replied “Sure why not” and have not looked up since
For years I enjoyed the local diving around Sydney then pursed my passion to teach. Oct 2001 I became a PADI Dive Master assisting on courses then qualified as a PADI Instructor on the 24th March 2002.
Here I was in heaven! Experiencing diving like I never had before, working on boats and in the shop, it was the happiest I had ever been in my life. It was the first week I was in Nelson Bay when I met Mr Jim Dodd and we became good friends and dive buddies. April 2003 I spent 5 month in Wellington New Zealand where I became an SSI Advanced Instructor. Returning home in Sept to enjoy another wonderful season in Nelson Bay.
March 2004 was a busy month for me as I also took over ownership of a mobile dog wash business working it fulltime while teaching scuba casually all while Jim and I started dating Aug 2006 I had to sell the dog wash due to injury and spent the next few years healing, attending classes learning to Screen Print and nurturing Ocean Guardians.
March 2007 Jim and I became husband and wife on the end of Salamander Jetty with our reception at a beach house and our wedding dance on the sandy beach. In May 2007 we honeymooned in Vanuatu for 2 weeks diving the President Coolidge and Hideaway Island.
I am now committed fulltime to Ocean Guardians and it is my wish to share my love, passion and concern for the oceans with the world. I believe that everyone has the ability to make an impact in saving our oceans. My goal is to meet as many people as possible from around the world and bring thier stories to life. I will celebrate and promote what they are doing with the hope to inspire others to make a difference! You can follow my journey on my personal facebook page and of course on the Ocean Guardians facebook page.
Cherie with a ghost pipe fish in Byron Bay, NSW Australia
Jim with a rare leafy sea dragon in Tumby Bay, South Australia
Born last century in Sydney Australia, I am the eldest of 4 children. I spend my younger years in Sydney’s west, growing up playing Rugby League, swimming and going to the beach. As an early teenager I wanted a motor bike as most of my friends had one. Then when my cousin bought a surfboard I instantly changed my mind much to the relief of my parents.
When aged 14 we moved to the small coastal tourist town of Nelson Bay, which is just under 1 hours drive north of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Living in Nelson Bay is living in a water wonderland. I spent my teens surfing until we left school and got jobs. When the surf was flat one of my mates bought a ski boat and I learnt to water ski. My early 20′s were very busy times. I would spend most of my time playing Rugby Union, surfing, water skiing and last but not least scuba diving.
In October 1988 with 2 friends I did my Open Water course. Then in the following months I completed my Advanced Open Water, Night Diver and Underwater Navigation. We did a lot of dives during the first year after my open water course then I backed off my diving, with it taking me about 12 or 13 years to get up 100 dives. My next course was the Rescue Diver course in November 2002 then in February 2003 I completed my Divemaster course. Since completing my divemaster course I have done nearly 1500 dives.
I started underwater photography when I received a small underwater film camera for Christmas in 2002. From there I bought a Samsung Digimax V3 and after a couple of floods I upgraded to my current setup. I upgraded to a Nikon Coolpix 8400 in an Ikelite housing with a single Ikelite DS 125 strobe which I used for 5 years until Cherie (santa) got me the brand new Nikon D7000 and the first Ikelite housing to hit the Australian shore. Starting off with a 60mm macro then playing with wide angle when we went to dive with the Great White Sharks in South Australia.
I have successfully entered a few underwater photo competitions over the years and have had articles and images printed in Dive Log and other publications such as Nature New South Wales, the journal of the national parks association. My dream is to travel the world diving, photographing and documenting the world’s oceans to raise awareness and inspire empathy for our fragile marine environment through the admiration of its beauty. You can see some of my photography on my UW Photography facebook page and on my UW Photography website.
Jim at home at Fly Point Nelson Bay, NSW Australia
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