I’m Jonathon Heeley and I attended St Andrews from Prep to Year 11 with the Class of 2010. Since completing my schooling in 2009 I was fortunate to be with Brisbane’s RAW Dance Company during 2010. Whilst completing my Year 10 and 11 studies I was able to study my Certificate III and IV in Live Theatre and Events, which led me to move to the Fraser Coast Region in 2012. In 2012, I started as the Fulltime Operations Lighting Technician at the Brolga Theatre and Convention Centre which has led to my current position as Senior Lighting Technician at the Venue. This has allowed me to work with artists such as Guy Sebastian, Timomatic, Human Nature, Celtic Thunder and more.
In 2013, after completing my Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management, and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in Sydney, I took on my other current role as Director of Hervey Bay Dance School. Over the past 8 years, it has grown to be one of the largest performing arts training centres in the region. With this came a lot of success for my certificate courses and performance teams travelling around Australia and graduates attending major vocational institutes and working within the industry. In 2017, I opened Regional Queensland’s first Year 7-12 Education and Performing Arts High School. Over the past 5 years, Hervey Bay Performing Arts College has had many successes such as being awarded the top-scoring high school for AASCF dance in QLD and ranking top 7 at the Australasian Dance Pinnacle in Melbourne as well as working with the industries best choreographers in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and at home. Alongside this, our graduates have also gone on to be accepted into the most prestigious training programs in Australia.
Also commencing 2017, my own event, Fraser Coast & Northern Australia Dance Festival, toured multiple locations around the state providing 2 days of workshops, expos and performances.
My advice for the current students at St Andrews is not to give up on your dream. Anything is possible if you are persistent, work hard and follow that passion. Sometimes things may not exactly happen in the way we expect but there is always a way to create or follow the vision you have. Take every opportunity you have and be grateful for everyone who has helped you along the way.