Mixing Matters is born out of my love for people, music, DJ-ing, and film, powerful threads in my life. Music has given me the vehicle to express. When I started Dj-ing in 1989 most people, including my parents, thought I was wasting my time. DJ-ing in Cape Town, South Africa was limited back then, mostly pursued by people with a love for music more than a desire to make a living out of it. I thought otherwise. The release of Nelson Mandela and the removal of Apartheid opened up a playground of opportunity, with diverse races and cultures able to appreciate music together for the first time. It was a euphoric time to launch a DJ career and for twenty years I lived and breathed music.
In the background of my DJ career has always been my love for young people, constantly observing the richness and diversity of our multicultural country. Often I was facilitating young people in some form or another.
After 20 years as an international DJ, I trained as a Time To Think Coach and Facilitator in 2010. Today I engage diverse young people by combining the Thinking Environment with Dj-ing, music and film to create a digital story, as well as teaching the skill of creating Thinking Environments to youth and those working in the youth leadership space. My wife and I migrated to Australia from South Africa in 2013. Some of the youth projects I've been involved in include facilitating Bluelight Discos for the Police Community Youth Club, a nonprofit organization providing a platform for the Australian Federal Police to engage with young people and the community, as well as empowering youth to make safe choices through my role as a YouthSafe facilitator.
Who inspires me
https://www.globalonenessproject.org I draw on the multi-media resources made available through this online project. It "aims to connect, through stories, the local human experience to global meta-level issues, such as climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty, endangered cultures, migration, and sustainability. Through featuring individuals and communities impacted by these issues, our stories and lessons provide opportunities to examine universal themes that emphasize our common humanity—identity, diversity, hope, resilience, imagination, adversity, empathy, love, and responsibility. Our lessons facilitate the development of students' critical thinking, inquiry, empathy, and listening skills."
http://turningtables.org While exploring a name for my organization I discovered one which is already implementing a similar vision, at scale. Turning Tables has served as an anchor, affirming that such similar work is being received by a receptive and engaged global youth. "Turntables in the Camps” is one of their programs focused on the inclusion of young refugees in the global youth culture of DJ-ing and the creation of electronic music. To facilitate this, they arrange workshops and set up permanent local dj schools for refugee boys and girls in order to show that everybody can be a DJ or an MC no matter where they are from. They have permanent DJ schools connected to camps in Beirut, Tripoli, and Amman.