Monique McKenzie - scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
Volunteer for Sydney Youth Music, a team of young people all over Sydney passionate about putting on all ages live music events in the Sydney CBD.

Why do you do it?
Because music is amazing and Sydney is full of cool, awesome wonderlands that are hidden away from those who are underage. Everyone, despite their age, should be able to explore the magical spaces and hear Sydney’s incredible music scene while still feeling safe and supported. Also it feels like I am doing my bit for angsty teen-me who wanted to go to all the cool places in Sydney I would find online and would count the days till I was 18 to get into.

What do you love about the city you live in?
Sydney is full of amazing, little hidden spots, places you can hide away, travel into a different time in history, places you can dance where no one is watching and places that can take your breath away with the view. You can go from sunshine in the park to dancing in the Danceteria at Goodgod's in five minutes and that's amazing. Ultimately, Sydney lets you have adventures.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
A tiny little shack on a cliff face in a tiny town that still had excellent coffee and Monopoly, so I was in my element.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
My Doc Martens. These boots are definitely made for walking. These shoes have gotten me from being a dorky 15-year old to and even dorkier 20-year old. The leather is so soft at this point and the embossed flowers are flaking off, but they feel like home.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
'Captain Planet' 100 per cent! Teaching me that polluting was bad and going green was rad since 1990.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I’d love to go back to the Roaring Twenties for a day, dance the night away to jazz music in a hidden bar underneath a trapdoor somewhere in Paris.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?

I am not the greatest cook, but I can bake pretty well, so I would probably serve up my famous brownies, the recipes date back to the old, primary school cookbook and have been a fam and friends fave since that moment. Serve it straight out of the oven with ice-cream and a cup of tea and your winning.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
Take every opportunity. My dad told me this when I started high school and it has stuck with me since. It is what motivated me to join Sydney Youth Music, and I am so glad because it is one of the most amazing and exciting things I have done. You have to at least give an opportunity a go or you will forever wonder what would have happened.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
I like to get a bit crafty but am terrible at committing to crafts. I am still knitting a scarf I promised a friend three years ago!

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
It's a bit of a juggle with a huge reliance on many calendars and to-do lists, but I love it. I love being busy and having heaps of cool projects and adventures on the go, it keeps life interesting! I do think it is important to take some time-out and stop even if it is for a few hours. I definitely need time to recharge or I just run out of steam and end up asleep in random locations.

How do you define success? Success is that warm feeling that spreads over you forcing you to grin like an idiot in a public place because you are so proud of what you have done.

What's your spirit animal?
Mindy Kaling. Maybe she is the spirit animal I aspire to have, she is truly an amazingly funny woman with wonderful confidence and ambition who isn’t afraid to speak her mind.


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