Director Andrew Parker & Dolphin Swim Australia
Andrew is the managing director of Dolphin Swim Australia and a qualified dive-master, Marine Mammal Observer, rescue diver, facilitator and instructor who has extensive experience in wild dolphin and whale swims and dolphin assisted therapy programs. Since 1996 Andrew has designed and ran open water swim programs with dolphins and whales in various countries including Australia, USA (Bahamas) and Tonga
January 10th 2010 as Dolphin Swim Australia’s managing director, Andrew signed off on the first permit of its kind ever issued in New South Wales by the Marine Park Authority and overseen by National Parks and Wildlife to ‘swim with’ wild Common dolphin generally within the offshore boundaries of the Port Stephens / Great Lakes Marine Park. The development of this world first form of wild dolphin swim took over four years and two full applications to achieve and included an extensive in-house long term population and ID study headed by our resident scientist Elise Bailey and an ongoing independent monitoring and research program run by dolphin expert Dr Carol Scarpaci from the prestigious Victoria University. The over-reaching difference of this form of swim program is ‘the dolphins choose to swim with humans’.
Marine Parks and National Parks & Wildlife granted the permit after stringent examination of Dolphin Swim Australia’s swim protocols and safety management of this offshore wild dolphin experience. Checks and balances were installed including the independent monitoring and research and success relied on the swim achieving extremely high levels of compliance with the NPWS act 1974 and Marine Mammal Ammendment act 2009 and the added 27 or so permit conditions.
After three years of strictly monitored operations the company is pleased to announce Dolphin Swim Australia has achieved unprecedented compliance statistics and NO HARM to the dolphins we encounter on our swim has occurred to date. Dolphin Swim Australia remains the only swim of its kind and holds the only Marine Park Authority commercial permit in New South Wales for wild dolphin swims.
As a father of four young boys Andrew is excited about working with youth and currently resides as president of the Newcastle NSW Australia based charity RUSH Haven Inc. Andrew has recently joined ORRCA as part of the trained marine mammal rescue unit and highly recommends the organisation.
Andrew shares his knowledge of Cetaceans and his passion for swimming with dolphins with the help of an enthusiastic team and the wonderful and loving Dolphins with as many people as he can aboard the 50 foot catamaran “Imagine” at Port Stephens.
Andrew is very proud to lead Dolphin Swim Australia’s team of professionals who are committed to assisting human’s to experience a greater in water understanding of their environment and the amazing dolphin family.
Elise Parker (Bailey)
Elise is DSA’s most experienced researcher and heads the research team and swim permit compliance onboard at DSA, bringing her extensive experience in dolphin behavior to the fore through this unique open water dolphin swim program.
Elise is originally from Los Angeles California, where her talents as a film maker, videographer and producer saw her produce, direct and star in her own TV series Elise Bailey’s Enchanted Oceans. Here now in Australia, joining the team in this world first human / dolphin interaction project and producing quality wildlife documentaries in her spare time.
Frank Future & Yves Papin Imagine Cruises
“Imagine” is an exciting vessel to work on and has attracted some very experienced captains and crew. All Imagine Cruises skippers are fully qualified and very experienced ships masters, personable, approachable, well-informed and passionate about the local Port Stephens environment. Together with the crew of Imagine they will look after your safety and comfort and give you a friendly and fascinating interpretation of the Australian NSW Mid North Coast environment and the complex behavior of the dolphins and whales that are the stars of the show.
Imagine Cruises’ principals, Captains Yves Papin and Frank Future are both naturalists, deeply committed to the protection of dolphins and whales and their marine environment. Frank is currently secretary of Whale and Dolphin Watch Australia and an official observer at the annual International Whaling Commission meetings.