‘They always thought I was a freak – that I wasn’t normal. I just wasn’t the average Joe as they say. It pretty much lowered my self-esteem and I thought I can’t dress this way or be this way and I have to look the same.

‘I used to live in a country town but now that I’ve moved here I have the chance to be myself instead of hiding away. It’s like I’m free now.

‘You can’t let other people’s expectations get you down. Just follow your heart and what you really want in life. If you want to be yourself then why not do it? Nothing is standing in your way. It’s only yourself that’s stopping you.’

‘I felt my parents just didn’t understand. They didn’t see what I saw. Not many people understand what you want to do and what you see; what your vision is. It held me back and it made me feel really insecure about myself at the time. I just had to keep going…and I have to keep going.

‘After school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was kind of lost so I just kept on with my dancing. It made my parents angry but it’s a hard road trying to be a dancer. I have a troubled relationship with my parents and don’t live at home so the Ted Noffs Foundation Street University helped me to work on my art.

‘As long as you persevere, have faith and the right support then you will get there. You will show people that this is what you were meant to do.

‘Parents just need to support their kids – that’s what they need. It’s going to be a hard road for both sides but continue to support and see where that gets them. It will take them far.

‘For young creative people, be confident. Post your work online. Tell people about what you do. Show people. Don’t hide it. Don’t keep it to yourself. Go and open up your work for the world to see. There will be someone who is interested.’
Eliam formed The Pioneers dance group who will perform and model at this Thursday’s Fashion Parade at Noffs Shop Newtown launch from 6-8pm – 461 King Street.

‘I love music. I can’t play so I feel like I need to organise musicians instead! I do all the logistics in booking bands for festivals and gigs. I make sure the bands show up and know what time they’re playing.

‘It’s good to see local festivals and events pop up – the local scene gets encouraged and they look for local bands. It’s really great. The international bands have cornered the market a little bit and people need to see that there are still great bands in Australia and that they need to get out there.’

 

‘In Hong Kong I just didn’t have the time to enjoy things. It’s too rushed and you can’t really observe stuff in detail. We don’t have a second to relax and enjoy life so for me, I want to take back the time. Here, at least I can get back free time and the lifestyle. And the food and the air. The air is so important because Hong Kong is so polluted.’

‘I think I’m going to take the Australian lifestyle back to Hong Kong with me. I’ve been back to Hong Kong twice since living here and now I’m just not used to how people walk so quickly and how rude they can be. I’m so used to now getting off the bus and saying thank you and stuff. I think I’m just going to keep doing that in Hong Kong.’