THIS IS: TAYLOR

If you are in need of some good vibes in this time of social isolating then be ready, this interview brings em. Taylor is the kind of girl that oozes passion, confidence and positivity and chooses beer over wine, always.

Her recount of her time spent in Nhulunbuy, the most Northern point of the Territory mainland while on placement is a genuine reflection of her spare time spent at the only skatepark in a remote indigenous community.  Her candid snaps capture the beauty of what we all once felt that first time we picked up our first deck.

 

Living in COVID19 times is weird, we have been listening to so much music whats your current playlist sound like?
It follows my mood swings, eg this morning I was listening to “Its Nice to be Alive” and currently now I'm in bed at 2pm listening to “Black Parade”.

Who gave you your first board?
I actually won my first board at a work party, I didn’t use or set it up until around a year later though.

So you waited an entire year to set it up, what made you set it up then ?
I had just came out of a relationship where all I wanted was some support to learn a new hobby and after that all went down hill it kind of bummed me out about learning, so then one day I found Laura from Laate and we eventually united with a bunch of girls who have opened up my eyes to the world of skate.

Is it different to your current setup ? What you riding atm?
The set up I had actually got stolen from my car, so I am now riding a board I got from James for Christmas, it’s a 8.65 Polar board and it’s bright yellow, pretty groovy actually and I think it suits me pretty well

How does skating make you feel?
I was a pretty sporty kid growing up and once I decided to focus on school and going to uni, I didn’t have many activities going on for me, so when I finally starting skating and actually improving, it was a real turning point in how I saw myself and that I can achieve goals I set for myself, its actually really inspiring I guess.

What are your fave places to skate ?
I really enjoy skating at the local netball courts, because if I am skating there it probably means I am surrounded by the overwhelming inclusive skate community in Newcastle, with all the guys, girls, kids and anyone inbetween. I think one of my favourite parks though to skate would have to be a park in Victoria, in a little country town called Arrarat. 

How do you go about learning a new trick?
I sometimes can get very stuck on learning new tricks and I tend to sike myself out of learning anything new, but I find that the group I skate with most is what drives me to improve. This group includes my very patient boyfriend James and he is really the supporting factor for me learning anything new.

Got any tricks you trying to crack in ISO ?
We built a box for at home, so I am trying to master ollying off it at the moment!

Recent skate video you watched ? AM Scramble.

Do you feel you are more locally influenced or influenced more from a pro kinda side?
I am 100% more local, I am not aspiring to be a pro so I want to feed off the people I surround myself with, theres some amazing skaters in Newcastle at the moment and even if they are or aren’t sponsored I love the sense of community and pride that comes with the Newcastle skate scene.

 

You have experienced some remote skateparks in some places where kids had not even seen a skateboard, how did that happen ?
If you think of remote Australia, everyone pictures the red sand, empty roads and a big red rock in the middle of it all. But for others out there, it holds a totally obscure meaning. It is a place to call home, a place to work and a place of real mystery. Not many people get the opportunity to spend extended amount of time in the Northern Territory, let alone work in the country’s most extremely rural communities. Working as a Paramedic has been a lifetime dream of mine specifically working in Aboriginal communities, being an Aboriginal woman myself it holds a lot of significance and cultural meaning for me.

As I travelled to Nhulunbuy, I knew it would be a totally different ball game compared to working in Alice Springs which has 22,000 more people populating the town compared to Nhulunbuys 2,000 people. I took my skateboard knowing that I was going to be in a town with no friends and only one pub. With not a whole lot to do I started going down to the skatepark after work each day around 6pm, which is when it finally started to cool from 40 degrees. 

Feeling like an enigma as I was the only female at the skatepark, the only person over 15 and definitely the only person on a skateboard. The 10 or so kids down there, all Indigenous mob and some who had just come from outstations and bush camps who could barely speak English were approaching me and I was confused what they might be coming to have a yarn about.

In my time in Nhulunbuy I had learnt little bits of the language and I could pick up some words they were saying, “what is that?" or "who is she?”, then one of the little fellas asked “Is that a skateboard?” and I confusingly replied “Ma” which in Yolungu language means ‘yes’. They started having a crack at it and a couple of the “wa-wa” (brother, boy or child in Yolungu) picked it up really quickly, and then that’s when we had all the boards and gear sent up from LAATE and a couple other generous people.

 

These kids were dropping in on the second day they had ever set their eyes on a board and now I have friends in the community up there still and said one of the boys is now skating in competitions in Darwin. So you could say I am a bit proud.

 

Fast FIVE 
1. Soft or hard tacos - trick question - put a soft one down and make the hard one over the top then wrap them up

2.Beer or wine : Beer is a go to number 1

3. hard wheels or softies: I am a big softie

4. Spicy or sweet: SPICY

5. Magazines or online : Online, too broke to buy magazines