About us

The Mt. Hotham Academy from it’s conception was designed to be a training ground for the best instructors in the business. A simple concept where great instructors work together for a common goal. To strive for excellence and share a passion for the mountain lifestyle with each other and like minded guests that come to ski with us.

Our Staff

Richard Jameson

Richard Jameson

Richard is the APSI Alpine Technical Director (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors) and is currently serving his 4th term on the APSI National Alpine Team as the Teams Coach. Growing up in Brisbane, Richard started out as a secondary school PE teacher in Queensland. Applying his knowledge of physical education his career lead him to the ski fields of Canada, revitalizing a childhood passion for alpine skiing. Serving over 2 decades in the ski industry, Richard now divides his time between Lake Tahoe, California, and Mt.Hotham, Australia.

Mark McDonald

Mark “Macca” McDonald

Macca is a legend of the instructor scene in Australia. His resume is too big to list in a single bio but some of his accomplishments include a 3 term National Demo Team member and captain, APSI level 4 trainer examiner and APSI technical committee member. Macca was previously the ski school director of the NISS ski school in Niseko, Japan and has taught around the globe. He currently teaches skiing in Telluride, Colorado and Falls Creek, Australia.

Heidi Ettlinger

Heidi Ettlinger

Heidi started skiing in the Green Mountains of Vermont before she could walk and is now recognized as one of the Top 100 Ski Instructors in the U.S. by Ski Magazine. She is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America serving on their National Alpine Team, Board of Directors, and as a clinician and examiner. Heidi holds an American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education Level 2 Certification and Wilderness First Responder credentials. She pursues ski instruction year round dividing her time between Heavenly in Lake Tahoe and Mt. Hotham in Australia.

Chris Allen

Chris Allen

Chris is a current APSI National Demo Team member. He shares his time between Mt. Hotham resort as a trainer, instructor, race coach and the APSI as a Level 4 trainer and examiner. He is at the very top of Australian snow sport instruction and works with the very best instructors in the country honing their skills and knowledge. When most people are enjoying summer on the beach you will find Chris skiing some of the best snow on earth in Deer Valley Utah.

Andrew Peppard

Andrew Peppard

Andrew has been a part of the ski industry since his first season at Hotham in 2004. More than 10 years later, he is still working at Hotham as an instructor and most recently as the Children’s Program Supervisor and Technical Director. In 2013 Andrew became a trainer/examiner for the APSI and has conducted courses and exams in both Australia and Japan. After working Northern seasons in Canada, USA and the UK, Andrew has settled in Niseko, Japan for the last 8 seasons recently becoming the Director of Snowsports for Niseko International Snowsports School.

Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson

Jamie is a ski instructor and APSI trainer based at Mount Hotham in the Australian winter. He is the General Manager of Niseko Sessions Snowsports School in Hokkaido, Japan. After ‘the endless winter’ spanning over a decade, Jamie enjoys getting fresh powder lines in the Hokkaido backcountry and returning to Australia to help train the next crop of elite ski instructors.

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Jarrah O’Brien

Jarrah started working in the ski industry in Tasmania in 2004 and then moved to Mt Hotham in 2009 to commence his instructing career. He has also taught in Canada, USA, and more recently in Niseko, Japan. With 17 consecutive winters under his belt, Jarrah is a core member of the Hotham instructor training team and an APSI trainer & examiner. He is passionate about skiing and helping people achieve their potential.

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Emma Christiansen

Emma first learnt to ski in the French Alps. Since then she has been drawn to all snowsports, and in particular skiing. In 2011 Emma started instructing and chasing winters, now splitting her time between instructing and training instructors at Mount Hotham, Australia and working as the Children’s Program Supervisor at NISS in Niseko, Japan. Emma is a APSI trainer/examiner and loves to share her passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of skiing with others.

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Jake Woods

Jake is a Victorian local, growing up in Shepparton.  He first came to the snow at 16 and knew there was nothing else he wanted to do more than live in the mountains. Now an APSI L4 and Rookie Trainer/Examiner, he has enjoyed winter seasons in America, Canada, China and Japan and loves coming home to Hotham to teach skiing and share his experience in the sport. If you want to explore new terrain, improve your bag of tricks or focus on your technique, Jake can help you out.

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Jon Steel

Jon has been working within the winter sport industry since 2009. He is currently based between Mt Hotham Australia and NISS in Niseko Japan. Jon has worked in ski resorts in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. During this time he has worked as an instructor, coach, supervisor, and a snowboard trainer/examiner for the APSI. He coaches SBX to FIS level athletes and designs and supervises the training program in NISS Japan. He has experience with the APSI, CASI & SBINZ certification organisations. Jon has a passion for imparting snowsports knowledge and improving anyone he snowboards with.

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Danielle Brooke

Danielle Brooke began skiing at age 2 and went on to ski race as a teenager, she was selected and represented the Australian Junior Development Team in Lake Placid New York. However a major knee injury caused her eventually stop racing and instead focus on her study. Danielle graduated University with a Bachelor of Economics and went on to work in Banking and Finance for 7 years until the lure of skiing drew her back to the mountains. In 1996 Danielle began ski instructing, she now has 27 Seasons teaching experience, working at Falls Creek in Australia, Steamboat Colorado, St Anton Austria, Niseko Japan and Fiss Austria. Danielle holds her full certification qualification as an Australian Professional Snowsports Instructor (APSI Level 4 Alpine), and is also a trainer examiner with the APSI, additionally she has her Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA Level 3 Alpine) and Snowsport Tirol Austrian Landesschilehrer qualification which includes introductory avalanche training. Last year Danielle graduated with Distincition from a Bachelor of Health Science, Food and Nutrition. Danielle has taught the Mim Sodergren’s Women’s Program at Falls Creek since 1997 and is the Senior Instructor in this highly successful and long running program, she holds a great deal of practical experience teaching women and a patient intuition in helping women gain confidence to improve their ski tactics and skills.

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Jeremy O’Sullivan

Jeremy was born and raised at Mt Hotham, residing in the valley floor town of Bright. Learning to ski when he was only 2 years old led to an inevitable career in Snowsports, driven by the passion of his parents. Through ski racing, Jeremy has represented Australia through competing as a sighted guide for alpine athlete Shaun Pianta at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Jeremy first joined the APSI in 2015 when he became a part time ski instructor at Mt Hotham as a way of expanding his knowledge to assist with the Australian Paralympic Team. Throughout this time, he received numerous awards including Part Time Instructor of the year, in-house training scholarship, and the APSI Sodergren Scholarship which assisted him in completing his APSI Level 4. In June 2019, Jeremy was successful in APSI Rookie Trainer selection and is currently sharing his passion for both adaptive and able-bodied snowsports with guests at Mt Hotham.

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Shane Guest

Having grown up in Melbourne there were many other sports of choice, until a more relaxed University schedule opened up the opportunity to spend some significant time at the snow. After graduation the ski hobby quickly took over, turning into a career. Shane now splits time between Hotham and Japan, having worked in both Hakuba and Hokkaido with roles varying from instructing to supervising kids ski schools and off piste guiding. When not passing on the skills and passion to others within the resort bounds you’ll find (or won’t find) him out in the backcountry enjoying the mountains and all they have to offer.