WA Sea Kayak Fest 2019 Team

The 2018 Sea Kayak Fest’ organisers are Sea Kayak Club WA’s, Paul Browne, Paul Cooper, Steve Haddon, Geoffrey Paull, and Colin Priest, along with Paddle WA’s, Rosalie Evans and Chris Greed. You can contact them via  email – fest@seakayakwa.asn.au and develop@paddlewa.asn.au.

Organising Team SKCWA

Paul Browne

It could be said that I might be addicted to water, in all its forms, salty, sweet or laced with fermented hops.

I love spending time on and in the water, paddling lots of different boats, surfing, swimming and just being surrounded by the nature that water protects and sustains.

I have been paddling for the last 20 years in whitewater, surfskis and in the last few years in sea kayaks. I love paddling down wind and sailing in the ocean.

Paul is also a Sea Leader in this event.

Paul Cooper

My name is Paul Cooper I have been a member of the Sea Kayak Club of WA for 10 years and in that time I have become a Sea Leader and an Instructor with the club. I enjoy training people in the art of rolling and all on water activities.

Paul will run an afternoon session on fitting and using a sail.

Steve Haddon

I am so lucky.  I started paddling about 25 years ago at Swan Canoe Club.  I was instantly hooked even with the frustration of trying to paddle in a straight line in a slalom boat. Paddling was totally absorbing and was a fantastic stress relief at the time.  I soon got into the adrenaline (read aaahhh) of white water and participated in a few Avon Descents.  Other commitments have come and gone so my time for paddling has also come and gone over the years.

I have been paddling in a sea kayak for a few years now. I am constantly amazed by the ocean with the variability of colours, waves, animals, rocks and reef.  From calm glassy water to breaking waves that appear out of nowhere.  Paddling gives a different perspective to the power and beauty of the ocean. Can’t wait to be on the water again.

Geoff Paull

I’ve been indulging myself in the opportunities of the great outdoors all my life – for the past 9 years or so much of this has been on the water.  You might find me on my sturdy sit-on chasing fish for my dinner, or looking for adventure in my Delta Sea Kayak.  Or maybe I’ll just be cruising on some backwater for the tranquillity of gliding along in the wonder of nature.  I continue to challenge any decline through aging and encourage others to also expect an energetic life without limits (at least until you bump into them).  I also enjoy cycling, swimming, photography, camping and a beer at the end of a great day, so look out for me somewhere under the sun!

Colin Priest

My name is Colin Priest. I’ve always loved the outdoors and travelling to remote places. I got into paddling about 30 years ago and enjoyed exploring our rivers by canoe and kayak. I joined Swan Canoe Club in 1993 where I was introduced to kayak slalom and spent many weekends kayaking at the Harvey whitewater slalom course. In 1994 I became a flatwater instructor and in 1996 a whitewater instructor and slalom coach. I started sea kayaking about 20 years ago and in 2004 became a sea kayaking instructor and a Paddle Australia assessor. in 2012 I completed the Cert IV in Training and Assessment. I enjoy passing on my kayaking skills and introducing people to the joys of kayaking. I have been instructing and leading kayaking trips with Swan Canoe Club for over 20 years, training and assessing club members for Paddle Australia awards since 2004. In 2015 I was awarded life membership of Swan Canoe Club.

My favourite part of sea kayaking is going out on multi-day trips in remote areas, which I have done here in WA, interstate and overseas. In 2017 after retiring from my day job I joined the Sea Kayak Club WA, with the aim of getting involved with more sea kayaking activities.

Russ Hobbs


Russ is the webmaster for this event.

Organising Team Paddle WA

Rosalie Evans

Chris Greed

Sea Leaders

Judy Blight


I have paddled for 20 years and have enjoyed extending myself in the past but now I’m enjoying paddling to see marine and bird life in different places in Australia and overseas. I also enjoy teaching beginners Greenland rolling. I had the pleasure of being the President of the Sea Kayak Club WA for 10 years.

Paul Browne

Read about Paul in the Organisers section above.

Paul Cooper

Read about Paul in the Organiser’s section above.

Michael Down

Geoff Emery

Nick Fletcher

This is my second WA Symposium after moving here at the beginning of 2018. It was a great place to meet some fellow paddlers as well as an early chance to see some beautiful coastline. Now I’m back for more!
I’ve been paddling in various forms for 14 years and a Guide and Instructor for the last 10. I enjoy getting out for paddle during the week with some fellow paddlers in Fremantle, although the post-paddle burger often forms a large part of the motivation!

I am a current Sea Instructor and Trainer/Assessor.

Jo Foley

I first started paddling a surf ski about 10 years ago but soon found that my interest in taking in the beauty of my surroundings and admiring sea life such as dolphins and sealions was at odds to my paddling partners who were mainly interested in going as fast as possible! When my buddy Pel bought a sea kayak I followed suit and joined the WA Sea Kayak Club. Since then I have enjoyed many paddles both in Perth and especially the trips away to Rotto, Jurien Bay, Shark Bay, Ningaloo, Dampier, Augusta, Eagle Bay, Walpole, Albany, Esperance, Fiji, Greece and Canada with the wonderful friends I have made through sea kayaking. With training from experienced instructors I achieved Sea Skills certification a few years ago and am now a Sea Leader for SKCWA.

Callan Gault

I‘ve always been into watersports of any kind – fishing, surfing, windsurfing, power boating/skiing, sailing and scuba diving to name a few. I started paddling about 8 years ago for a bit of fun and quickly found that it helped my core strength and improved my dodgy back – it also scratched my itch for adventure.

I’m the current president of the Sea Kayak Club WA, a sea leader, and am working towards my AC instructors certificate. I’m grateful to be involved in the sea kayaking community because it is full of fantastic people.

I find the power of the ocean, wind and waves exhilarating and love nothing more than battling the elements in a storm!

Steve Haddon

Read about Steve in the Organiser’s Section above.

Richard Lailey

For me there is no better place than being near water, especially out there on the ocean.

It’s hard to say whether it was leaving England for Jamaica as a 21 year old teacher and discovering that the sea wasn’t always grey, murky and cold, or coming across a tiny tome entitled ‘Your Career in Marine Science’ in a university bookshop, that sparked an abiding love of the ocean and a change of career to oceanography.

Whether swimming in it, diving in it, paddling on it or merely sitting with a cold beer and just looking at it – I am a happy man! The diversity of marine life, the beautiful spectrum of colours, and the ever-changing patterns of the ocean surface hold a unique fascination for me.

I joined the WA Sea Kayaking Club about 6 years ago and paddling a kayak has held a special place in my heart ever since. I love the range of activities it offers; day paddles, expeditions, surfing, down-winding, sailing, and rolling – and a coffee afterwards. But the best part – is just simply hanging around out there – waiting, watching and enjoying, and being a part of our beautiful ocean environment!

Andrew Munyard

Having enjoyed whitewater kayaking as a teenager, and having been a sailor  for many years, I returned to kayaking seven years ago, but this time I wanted to combine kayaking with my sailing experience and sea kayaking was a great way to do this.
I have gained my AC Sea Skills qualification and love interpreting the ocean environment to provide exciting and enjoyable paddles. I have paddled Esperance to Hopetoun and paddled the Shark Bay area. I am currently working towards my AC instructor qualification.
I enjoy tinkering with kayaks to adapt them for my use and to ensure I get the most out of them.

Dave Oakley

I have been paddling now fairly regularly for around thirty years in many forms of the activity, starting with white water river running, and expedition trips locally and overseas.

I have been sea kayaking along large stretches of the WA coast between Albany and Dampier as well as island hopping off the Canadian west coast, and south island NZ paddling.

For a few seasons I have been playing canoe polo along with years of surf skiing and kayak surfing in play boats, and most recently SUP boarding.

I have led day and expedition trips for two clubs and peer groups for around twelve years.

Kim Palmer

Jill Sievenpiper

I was lucky to grow up on Deer Lake, just outside Vancouver, B.C. Canadian canoeing, sailing, hiking and general outdoor adventure was a big part of my youth.
I spent my uni summers working in the Rockies and then travel, and a ‘Tassie Devil’, led me to moving to Australia in 1990.

Five years ago I tried sea kayaking and four years ago I joined SKCWA. I am grateful to Judy, Les, Sandy and many others who have been mentors and teachers.

Since joining the club, I have had the good fortune to have paddled around Rottnest and Garden Islands, Shark Bay, Clayoquot Sound and, recently, in areas around Anglesey, Wales. My intention is to keep paddling, learning and exploring, feeling so lucky to have taken up the wonderful sport of sea kayaking that enables you to explore wild and interesting places while meeting great people along the way.

Ann Smithson

I have always been a passionately keen outdoorsy girl, and started kayaking regularly when I moved to Western Australia 10 years ago.  I particularly enjoy kayak expeditioning, and succeeded in my aim to lead remote kayaking trips in WA.  I also enjoy passing on my kayaking skills, and have been involved in instruction both through UWA and SKCWA.  I am proud to have completed an Avon Descent, and am an enthusiastic and very competitive rogainer.  Professionally, I am an ecologist and conservation biologist.  After many years in academia in the UK lecturing in conservation biology, my move to sunny Western Australia lead to working in the science section at Kings Park researching our native plants.  I am now an independent ecological and botanical consultant, and enjoy bringing my passion for understanding wildlife to a wider audience.

Mark Tait

Mark Thurgood

Pel Turner

I grew up in Busselton, surfing, sailing and scuba diving so when my kids grew up we moved to Perth and I got into paddling skis and progressed to Sea Kayaks about 12 years ago when I joined the SKCWA.

I have made some great friends getting out doing what I love,being on the ocean and enjoying the life out there and having a challenging paddle in all conditions.


Dave Winkworth

Read about Dave on the Guest’s page.

Yoga Teacher

Melanie Browne

I fell in love with yoga over 25 years ago, walking out of my first class feeling calm and centered. I went on to practice yoga over the years with many wonderful teachers in Perth, Scotland, Malaysia and New Zealand. My love of yoga continues to grow as I see the many benefits its brings to my life and others. Having worked with children and teenagers in Malaysia and more recently with those with injuries and chronic conditions in Perth, the profound effect of yoga continues to inspire me. Tai Chi is another love of mine, and I have been fortunate to share this love with many students throughout WA, and to have trained many instructors. I am passionate about posture and alignment, returning to university to study functional anatomy, and completing a Cert IV in Fitness. My classes are open to all, with a focus on improving movement patterns and finding balance in the physical body, so that we can then move more deeply into the profound breathing and meditation practices, restoring balance in our lives, and experiencing the peace and contentment which lies within.

Tamara Yoga Teacher Training 350 hour
Children’s Yoga Teacher Training, Sun Kids Yoga, KL, Malaysia (Yoga Alliance USA)
Tai Chi for Health Senior Trainer, Tai Chi for Health Institute
Bachelor of Laws, Murdoch University