Our Team

Patrick Smithson

owner and operator

Meet Patrick Smithson – a man whose story is one of transformation and discovery. Born and raised in rural NSW, Patrick initially began his career in the construction industry. But in his mid-20s, he found his true calling – the ocean. Starting as a cook in the Whitsundays, he quickly realized that his love for the ocean was much more than a passing fancy.

In 2005, Patrick acquired his dive instructor certification, and for years, he worked as an instructor, taking students on daily explorations of the Great Barrier Reef. His love for the ocean only grew stronger, and in 2010, Patrick moved to Cape Tribulation, where he continued to share his passion for the ocean with his students.

In 2015, Patrick established his own underwater photography business in Cairns, which he runs successfully to this day. This venture allowed him to capture the beauty of the ocean, sharing it with the world and further fueling his passion for the water.

But Patrick’s thirst for adventure and his desire to challenge himself led him to explore new horizons. In 2018, he decided to train as a freedive instructor, which changed his life forever. He fell in love with the breathwork and mind-body control that came with freediving, and this passion led him to become a freedive instructor trainer in 2022. Patrick now inspires his students to become more in tune with their bodies and strengthen their love for the water.

Patrick’s journey is a testament to the power of following your passions and discovering what truly makes you come alive. His love for the ocean has taken him on an incredible adventure, and he continues to inspire others to follow their hearts and pursue their dreams.

Kristen Anderson

General Manager

Allow us to introduce you to Kristen, a passionate marine enthusiast with an undying love for water. Her journey began in her late teens when she worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor in Canada, and her passion for the marine world only grew from there. With a thirst for knowledge, Kristen pursued a degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Guelph.

After graduation, Kristen started her career in the marine industry as a diver in an aquarium. It wasn’t until she traveled to Central America in 2012 that she discovered her true career calling – travel and diving. Kristen obtained her divemaster certification in Utila, Honduras, and has since worked in the diving industry.

In 2016, Kristen moved to Australia, where she spent a year working on the Great Barrier Reef before traveling to Indonesia to acquire her instructor certification in Komodo. After acquiring her instructors she went on to manage a dive centre in Coral Bay, on the Ningaloo reef for 3 years. Her years of experience working as an instructor on both the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef have allowed her to share her passion for the ocean with others.

With her dedication and knowledge of the marine tourism industry, Kristen has managed multiple businesses over the years. Her commitment to the industry led her to join the Scubabo team in September 2022, where she brings her expertise and passion for marine life to the organization. From here, she became an SSI freedive instructor and enjoys teaching freediving when she’s not managing the business.

Kristen’s journey is a testament to the power of following your passions and the joy that comes with finding your place in the world. Her love for the ocean has taken her on an incredible adventure, and she continues to inspire others to explore and discover the beauty of the marine world.

Kozel Carthew

Photography Training Manager

Meet Kozel Carthew, a passionate Photographer & Videographer. In 2015, Kozel discovered a passion for photography, a craft that would soon become the canvas for his creative expression. Eager to expand his skill set, he delved into videography, pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling. His work reflects not just technical proficiency but also the enthusiasm he brings to every project.

Kozel’s commitment to fitness led him to a fulfilling career as a fitness coach, where he inspired others to embrace a healthier lifestyle. For over three years, he dedicated himself to helping individuals achieve their fitness goals, leaving a lasting impact on those he coached.

Fueling his love for exploration, Kozel embarked on a journey that took him to various corners of the globe. During his travels, he lent his creative prowess to brands, resorts, and tour agencies, crafting compelling content that resonated with audiences worldwide. This period of globetrotting not only enriched Kozel’s portfolio but also broadened his perspective on the diversity of cultures and landscapes.

Kozel’s connection to the ocean runs deep. From a young age, he has been drawn to the sea, engaging in free diving as a means of connecting with the underwater world. In September 2022, he took the plunge into scuba diving and underwater photography with Scubabo. The experience was transformative, capturing his heart and igniting a passion for documenting the mesmerizing beauty beneath the surface.


Fast forward to the present, and Kozel is not just a participant but a leader within the Scubabo Cairns team. As a certified dive instructor and the photography training manager, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of underwater photographers and dive masters.

Meet Our Trainees

Feeling Creative?


Unlock your potential as an underwater photographer with our diving internship program! Designed for those who already hold an open water certification, our program teaches you everything you need to know to become a professional underwater photographer.

But that’s not all – we also teach you the ins and outs of diving, so that you can acquire your dive master certification and take your skills to the next level. Don’t miss this opportunity to dive deep and explore the beauty of the underwater world while developing valuable photography and diving skills! 

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