History of the Southern Freedivers
The Southern Freedivers were formed in 1994 by Rob Torelli and David Hallam.
Rob Torelli was a former Dandenong Skindiving Club member and multiple Australian Champion and a very active competition diver during the 1980’s. During this period and earlier in the 1970’s spearfishing was a very strong sport in Victoria with over a dozen spearfishing clubs in Melbourne and a hand full of clubs in the Western Districts. (David Hallam was formerly from the Hamilton Club in Western Victoria and was a former National Team representative) In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the sport and clubs witnessed a drop in participation and saw many clubs break up. Dandenong Skindiving Club continued till about 1990 and then folded. For a few years in the early 1990’s no actual spearfishing Clubs existed in Victoria. In 1994, Rob Torelli Co-founded and was editor of “International Freediving and Spearfishing News”. This quarterly publication had brought together some more interest in Spearfishing in Victoria and the competition scene. Rob called upon long time friend David Hallam to assist him to start the Southern Freedivers. (David was then working in Melbourne) Together with some former competition divers like Angie Perna and Warren Threlfall the club was formed and the spearfishing “comp” scene had been restarted. The club has grown from the early “hard core” comp days to include numerous “social” club trips away and Victorian Spearfishing Challenge.
Since 1994, the Southern Freedivers has seen quite a few divers “come and go” but has maintained a good “base” of divers varying in experience from Open National Champions and a number of Australian representatives through to new “up and coming” spearfishers. Today, the Southern Freedivers are still the only club within Victoria to be dedicated to spearfishing.
Hope to see everyone adding to the history of this great spearfishing and freediving club.