On the Couch with Deon Hastie

NAISDA Deon HastieWho is Deon Hastie?
I am a Djabugay rainforest man from Far North Queensland. I am a dancer, teacher and choreographer. I am creative person who’s had the courage to forge my own pathways in life.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I love going on walks down the beach or trekking through the bush, but an old dance injury sometimes flares up making a simple thing such as walking very painful. I need to find other ways of being active in my spare time rather than eating chocolate and watching Netflix lol.

Who inspires you and why?
My parents inspire me. They’ve been through so much over the years and have remained humble throughout their lives. They do so much for our family and have been a huge support for me over the years. I’ve recently spent more time with my Mum and Dad asking them questions about their youth and their childhood, learning things I never knew about them. They have a wealth of knowledge of family and culture. I encourage my nieces and nephews to sit and speak with their grandparents and often tell the young people I work with to do the same. Our parents and Aunties and Uncles are getting older and so the time to sit and speak with them is now.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Be more active in promoting positive visibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island success and achievements. Whether it be through dance performances and workshops, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to be in control of our narratives and our futures.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Home. I’ve lived away from Far North Queensland since I was 17 years old and don’t usually get the chance to visit my family very often. When I do go home, it’s about spending quality time catching up with everyone and treasuring every moment with them.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’ve just moved to Gosford, NSW – so I need to explore the region myself to know where all the good spots are. I’ve just recently moved from Adelaide where I lived for 20 years. When friends and family would visit me there, I would take them up to Mt Lofty lookout so they could get a sense of how big the city was and to also show them the beauty of the Adelaide Hills. I will need to do some exploring in Gosford and the surrounding areas to find some of the attractions around here for when people come for a visit. I’ve been told that Somersby Falls near Gosford is a great place to check out.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve just started work with NAISDA Dance College as Head of Dance and so I am reading quite a bit of information about the courses and the company. It’s been 21 years since I was a student at NAISDA and quite a lot has changed over the years and so, at the moment, I have quite a bit of material that I take home to read. Usually I like reading autobiographies to positive thinking books.

What are you currently listening to?
Electric Fields are my favourite musical group. I don’t get through a day without listening to their music. I absolutely love Zaachariaha Fielding’s voice and Michael Ross’s musical compositions. I am thrilled to know them personally and to see them achieve new heights.

Happiness is?
Being able to practice your craft. For me that’s dancing and I’m at my happiest when I am working in the studio dancing, choreographing and working especially with young people.

What does the future hold for you?
Creating new adventures and memories with NAISDA Dance College. I’m thrilled to be back working at the place that started my journey and I am looking forward to being a part of guiding the next generation on to rewarding and wonderful careers in dance and the arts.

Deon has just been appointed Head of Dance at NAISDA Dance College. For more information, visit: www.naisda.com.au for details.

Image: Deon Hastie – courtesy of NAISDA