Luke Oliver

March 2013: Glutton for punishment, after manageing/caretaking the AIE role in 2012, Luke is now back in one of his orginal roles as Treasurer. Looking forward to utilising Luke's much valued technical skills to upgrade SQPC's electronic bookkeeping this year.


Novemebr 2011: Luke has now stepped out of the Administrative role due to his Corporate work commitments. Thank you Luke for your work developing a modern electronic platform for the SQPC.


From the SQPC Newsletter #16, May 2008

Some months ago, I was given the opportunity to write about myself in this sheet and declared that "invitations to blow one's horn are limited"; it seems once again I was wrong. Here we go again.

Born in Adelaide, educated there as well as Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. School and I parted ways by mutual agreement, and I spent some years working in the Film and Television industry - behind the scenes. My father has now finished with senior management and become a "graying" nomad, and my sister - an occasional television presenter - is now an author with a top-ten selling title in Australia entitled "SORTED! the ultimate guide to organising your life - once and for all".

Found an outlet for what we now know as Information Technology in the Film industry, and carried that through into the Advertising industry as "desktop publishing" gained a foothold. Was still coercing computers when I did my first tandem - with Mick Hardy – at Strathalbyn (SA), in 1996. With the Style and Accuracy nationals being held locally, I was pleasantly surprised to pick up Gold in Novice and next year in Intermediate; the latter being accompanied by the Alison Quick Memorial Trust - which came with some excellent guidance, and providing ongoing stimulus. I enjoyed my time as a club member at Skydive Adelaide and Lower Light, and took on the Treasurer role with the SAPC when Jon McWilliam and his Pilatus departed for Victoria.

Along the way, I achieved an Instructor D/RW under Jim Knox with help from Harry Hammers and Mick and Jan Honeyman, and set a personal goal of participating in a World Record RW formation. Discovering that doing absolutely nothing in freefall was a desirable trait – for big ways at least - I participated in the 61 way record at Picton and attended the World Freefall Convention a couple of times, enjoying big formations - and jumping from jets and balloons and biplanes, oh my. I jumped my first Cross-braced sub-100 foot canopy over there - with 600 jumps and hardly any advice - and my disquiet at working out what I'd done only came to me much later in (fortunately) life.

One of my stills appeared on the back of "Rambling On", I wrote the club column for the magazine, and explored the way skydivers communicate – which directly led to the construction of "skysurfer.com.au". Not long after, my best practice work in the advertising trade - coupled with my column in a national magazine - attracted the eye of Apple Computer, who dragged me to Melbourne for a senior engineering position and took four very good years of my life.

The 81 way Australian record appeared in that timeframe, as did three years of jumping massive flags into the Melbourne Grand Prix. A club member at Commandos (Pakenham), I added an AFF endorsement to my credentials under Ralph Presgrave - with what I now realise to be excellent assistance from the likes of Kev Murphy and Richard McCooey.

My work commitments and instructing desires also led me to withdraw from a four way team we newby instructors were planning - a team still known today as "Airtite"!

Passionate but with few opportunities to exercise the endorsement, I signed on with Steve Smedley at Bairnsdale - where I was also fortunate enough to work with Janine Hayes before the operation moved to Tasmania. Some magnificent times with Relworkers Unlimited and at Nagambie ensued, possibly the highlight being the "Largest Lingerie Load", which achieved national media coverage and raised a significant amount of money for breast cancer research. Matching the record for "most dropzones in one day" (8) was a terrific project. I enjoyed becoming a Tandem Master, and later worked hard to become an Instructor "B" under Don Cross. In a sign of things to come, the first of the "eGroups" appeared as the result of a collaboration with then Relworkers President Kate Rose. I enjoyed presenting at the APF conferences in Cairns and Geelong on digital media related topics, and have recently returned from the 2008 conference in Sydney.

Putting my writing and business skills to good use, I accepted a role as Secretary of the Victorian Parachute Council, and added some electronic communications to the communications mix during a three year tenure. When my job expired, I considered my options before hitting the road and heading for the Sunshine State, although I have returned to Victoria since to act as Operations Manager at Nagambie for a period. Highlights of my time in Queensland include taking the freefall photo of the current POPs record, and the personal gratification that comes with working in a small Tandem operation. I felt extremely rewarded assisting three instructors at Byron Bay toward their AFF endorsements in 2005. Being part of Dave Benson's World Flag Record in Bundaberg was visually stunning. Trips to Bali – for the 100 ways – and World Team 2006 in Thailand, for the 400 way – had very satisfactory outcomes.

Previous experience within the SQPC include two council appointments as Chrief Instructor (Byron Bay, temporary, and Toowoomba), a period as State Coach, and taking on the interim Treasurer Position.

I still have many goals, many centred around the desire to see our sport continue its tradition of becoming safer - in the back of my van are tied nine pullup cords, one for every skydiving friend's funeral. 

Edmund Burke wrote that "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it", and meeting people in the sport that believe they are too skilled and/or too clever to die skydiving simply leaves me aghast. 

There remain many cartons of beer on offer for minor goals, too. I look forward to seeing the ways that communication between skydivers evolve – there are opportunities to improve the current situation, and I created skysurfer.com.au to fill a gap in member-to-member communications. 

My favourite activity in all the myriad skydiving choices remains AFF, although I particularly enjoy swooping technology's new cross-braced canopies and love playing as part of the 4-way team "Who's Ya Daddy".

I thank Brad Turner for the contribution he has made as IPC – amongst his other contributions! Thank you all for the opportunity to step up, and thank you for the offers of support and encouragement as I settle into the role. I look forward to participating in assisting members who so choose to move into an Instructional phase of their skydiving careers. I am pleased to be your Instructor Panel Chair.

Luke Oliver, F600, 22 May 2008

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