What is the best thing that I love about my work? Sense of autonomy to create my own destiny. I have started all my various enterprises from scratch so nothing existed before. There is a real magic, learning and growth in continuously re-inventing and improving on what you’ve done before.
I am the Founder of , , and acclaimed singing group i. I have recently founded a co-working space Dimension5 in Melbourne to drive social innovation and collaboration.
I am also the Founder of two charities, The Song Room and Creativity Australia. works with a range of marginalised individuals and communities to build supportive networks through the acclaimed With One Voice choir social inclusion programs.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Singing in gorgeous acoustic venues, singing in harmony with others…Freedom, loving and being loved, swimming in the ocean, staying in bed and reading (especially if it’s raining) and cuddling my dog.
What is my greatest fear? Not having enough time to do all the things I would love to do.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Overworking to achieve all the things I would love to do.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I have a few professions. Opera singer – Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko… Spiritual Singer: Snatam kaur, Krishna Das, Innovators: Richard Branson, Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis
What is my greatest extravagance? Purchasing beautiful antique rugs at auctions –definitely addictive! I’ve run out of space now.
On what occasion would I lie? To protect someone else’s feelings where I knew they could not handle the truth
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Having to go out and continuously secure funding for the charity, Creative Innovation Global conference and other projects. It is relentless and exhausting but the funds will not just come. You have to ASK. I would love to just spend my time creating and the money would come, but for me that has not worked so far.
Training and retraining people to use the database/CRM properly. Our database is our Bible so we need to keep it up to date and relevant.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I am being creative, singing solo and with others, preparing and presenting speeches and workshops, curating speakers and events to really touch, energise and move people
If I could, what would I change about myself? Be less obsessive and relax my mind and body a lot more. I’d be taller, my feet would arch and my toes would be straight instead of curled
What is my greatest achievement in work? To juggle so many different projects and enterprises and keep them all operating at a high level of excellence. They are all achieving their goals to change lives and prepare for change in our world.
Where would I most like to live? I love living in Melbourne (Malvern East) close to my parents and the former home of my grandparents, now the Duldig Studio and Museum. That is where the original prototypes of the foldable umbrella invented by my grandmother Slawa Duldig resides too. I also love living by the sea – so Flinders, Byron, Bay, Noosa – and my husband and I spend time in the peace and beautiful countryside of the Luberon in Provence, France. I am very lucky to be able to live in a few different places. Still home is where the heart and my community is. Most of my loved ones, friends and network are in Melbourne.
What is my most treasured possession? My cavoodle Billy and a mala Ram Dass (spiritual guru) gave me for meditating.
What is my most marked characteristic? My determination, energy and passion…
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Royal Botanic Gardens filled with unique trees, plants, flowers, lakes, animals and oxygen in the heart of the city. About 60-90 minutes from Melbourne are some of the most beautiful, wild beaches on the Mornington Peninsula… like Sorrento and Portsea and Flinders.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Shakahari in South Melbourne, the best vegetarian restaurant… been around for 30 years (Also in Carlton)
What books influenced my life and how? The Art of Possibility by Ben Zander, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, Be Here Now by Ram Dass
Who are my favorite writers? Coelho, Millman, Ram Dass, David Deida
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Mahler’s 5th Symphony Adagietto Movement, Mozart Clarinet Concerto (slow movement), Elgar Cello Concerto, Elgar Nimrod Variations, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Ave Maria by Schubert, Panis Angelicus by Franck, Minth Symphony of Beethoven, The Planets by Holst, Mass of the Armed Man, Shenandoah, Clairde Lune by Debussy, Strauss Four Last Songs and many of the songs on my recent 2 albums Flying Free and Heaven on Earth.
More info and order my albums here: https://www.taniadejong.com/buy-music/
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Strong women who never give up on their dreams in spite of adverse circumstances
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My Mum Eva and Dad Henri and my husband Peter. My parents both miraculously escaped the Holocaust though many of our relatives sadly did not. They met by chance in Israel and I was born in Holland. They have walked beside me all my life. I am truly blessed. And then there is my angel grandmother Slawa Horowitz-Duldig who was the inventor of the foldable umbrella in Vienna in 1929. She is my creative muse. Invention is certainly in my blood.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Out of Africa
What role plays art in my life and work? It is everything to me. Art and music are my life. We are all born creative. The key is to keep unlocking more and more of that creativity throughout your life instead of shrinking into what other people expect of you or specific ‘roles’ that society determines.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband Peter whom I met in Israel on am AICC Trade Mission in 2012. We married in 2017 and connect on many levels.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019? Ray Kurzweil, Sir Ken Robinson
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019? Renee Fleming, Snatam Kaur, Richard Branson, Adam Grant
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on? Creative Innovation 2019 Asia Pacific, a new spiritual recording, more spiritual projects in unique locations, presenting keynote speeches at major conferences and events to raise energy and really move people into a higher consciousness
Where can you see me or my work in 2019? Raising more collective energy to solve increasing social and economic challenges through my singing, speaking, With One Voice choirs, Creative Innovation events and other collaborations.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Never give up on your dreams and passions. They are eternal. We were all brought here to fulfil our higher purpose. Never let the light go out.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Michelle Simmons Scientist, Abby Allwood scientist, Renee Fleming opera singer, Snatam Kaur spiritual singer
How can you contact me?
Twitter https://twitter.com/TaniadeJong @taniadejong
TED TALK ‘how singing together changes the brain’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_HOBr8H9EM
Tania has released 3 solo albums and 7 albums with her group Pot-Pourri. More info and order here:https://www.taniadejong.com/buy-music/