Key Personnel


Malcolm Venturoni

Managing Director

Malcolm is a Director of the Professional Divers Group. He has managed diving operations for Professional Diving Services for over twenty five years, and has a further ten years diving experience. Malcolm is a Commercial Diving Supervisor in accordance with AS/NZS2299.1:2015 and has supervised in excess of 8,500 dives. Malcolm has over 13,500 hours of commercially logged dive time, across a range of underwater survey, demolition and construction projects.

Malcolm’s work has seen him play a key role in many of the major marine projects which have taken place throughout Victoria. These have included the POMC Channel Deepening Project, the survey and rehabilitation works at Appleton Dock, Gellibrand Pier, Swanson Dock, Station Pier and Webb Dock. Other major marine projects have included the refit of the Ocean Patriot semisubmersible rig at Portland, the refurbishment of the Patterson River Tidal gates for Melbourne Water and the construction and ongoing environmental monitoring for the Victorian Desalination Project.

Malcolm has extensive knowledge of all of Port of Melbourne structures. He has been an integral player in the survey, maintenance and many of the subsequent repairs to all of the structures within the Port of Melbourne and other major and minor Ports throughout Victoria. PDS maintain extensive records of previous works, including pile plans of every wharf and any project they have completed over the last forty years.

Malcolm is an ADAS Training and Assessment manager and oversees the operation and training of commercial divers and hyperbaric operators with the Professional Divers Training Academy. Malcolm’s extensive experience within the commercial diving industry is a solid grounding to providing state of the art occupational diver training services.

Malcom is often engaged by government departments, regulators and industry to provide expert advice, compliance auditing, inspection and verification of competency within the occupational diving industry.


Frank Zeigler

Director/OH&S Manager

Frank has been a Director of the Professional Divers Group since it was established. Frank is a Commercial Diving Supervisor in accordance with AS/NZS2299.1:2015 and has over 35 years experience including over 6,000 hours of commercially logged dive time throughout Australia and around the world.

Frank has a Masters degree in Occupational Health and Safety with his thesis on safety in the onshore commercial diving industry in Australia. He also has a Graduate Diploma in disaster and risk management. Frank has written and presented courses on behalf of PDS for the Victorian and South Australian Work Cover Authorities, training their inspectorate in all matters pertaining to commercial diving.

Frank plays a key role in the preparation of OH&S documentation and safe work method statements for the company; he conducts internal audits on jobsites and provides OH&S and technical advice as required.

Chris Opthoog PDS

Chris Op’t Hoog

Project Engineer

Chris is a Materials Engineer who specialises in managing and providing engineering support to diving operations. Commencing his career in 2007 he has overseen projects of critical infrastructure such as the Bolte Bridge, Citylink’s tunnel and elevated road network, wharves in every Port of Melbourne wharf precinct from Station Pier to Central Pier and numerous regional assets.

Chris manages multiple diving projects daily, develops quality and safety documentation and conducts site surveillance for survey, construction, demolition and general underwater projects.

Chris has extensive asset management and condition assessment experience having undertaken repair, survey or non-destructive testing on hundreds of timber, steel and reinforced concrete structures varying from wharves, piers, tanks, bridges, tunnels, roads and sewer assets. Involved in all facets of asset management including determining inspection programs, developing project plans, undertaking inspections and non-destructive testing (NDT), using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for defect mapping, coordinating diving surveys and providing advice on asset management. Chris is also a commercial diver in accordance with AS/NZS 2815.1 and AS/NZS2299.1:2015.

Specialist knowledge and skills:

  • Condition assessment & non-destructive testing
  • Quality assurance of diving operations
  • Remediation
  • Asset management


Rick Austin

Senior Instructor

Rick Austin is Professional Divers Training Academy’s Senior Instructor and ADAS Training and Assessment Manager (ATAM). Rick has been in the industry instructing commercial divers for over 15 years and has been involved with the setting up and running of the first course for the South Australian training school in Port Lincoln, and the New Zealand School of Commercial Diving in Hamilton. Rick went to Turkey in 2007 & 2010 as an ATAM for NEL Turkish Divers. His qualifications illustrate his tremendous range of experience and abilities.

Rick has the following diving related qualifications;

  • ADAS Training and Assessment Manager – ATAM No: 2696
  • ADAS AS2815.3 Diver ADAS AS2815.3 Supervisor
  • Recompression Chamber Operator
  • Diploma of Occupational Diving – Dive Manager
  • Diploma of Occupational Diving – Dive Trainer
  • Certificate of Competency Coxswain No: V0003187
  • SSI Advanced Open water Instructor
  • Certificate IV Workplace Trainer Assessor
  • Diver Medical Technician Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • DAN Oxygen Instructor and DAN First Aid Instructor No: L1 – 0262F
  • CDAA cave diver
  • IANTD Trimix Diver, Rebreather Diver, Gas Blender
  • Diving Equipment Technician
  • Hydrostatic Test Station Operator
  • Underwater photographer

Rick is responsible for the majority of our in-house first aid and oxygen administration courses and plays an integral part of the Professional Diving Services team.