Carol was one of the first friends I, Barbaraexpat, made in Melbourne and, like me, she left her home country for love! Over the years I have had the privilege to follow her journey to pursue her dream and become one of the best Soul DJ in Melbourne. Thank you Carol for sharing your story.
I have had 4 careers so far. I started in fashion design, then became a wife and mother; I was an assistant kindergarten teacher for 15 years and I am now a DJ in Melbourne.
I grew up in England where I studied Fashion & Textiles. In 1979 I moved to London to pursue a career in this field. After a failed relationship and having grown tired of working crazy hours I decided join a friend who was going travelling to Australia and Asia.
I loved my time in Australia both working in Sydney and I travelling around the country. My friend and I later travelled through Asia and when her money ran out in Thailand, I continued to Nepal and India by myself.
It was in India that I met Damien, a handsome and laid back Aussie traveller. When we bumped into each other again we swapped addresses, as he was planning to come to London to work.
At his arrival in London I helped him find a place to live; we were friends at first and then romance blossomed.
We married in 1991 in England but he became quite homesick and missed having a back yard, so we decided to move to Australia.
Home sickness is a difficult thing to cope with but I am a determined person and eventually things got better.
We arrived in Melbourne in 1994 and I applied for residency, continuing to work in Fashion until my second child was born.
I found moving to Melbourne challenging and for a while I was very homesick and depressed.
I had travelled to Australia before and thought I would easily slip into life here, but emigrating is different to travel. I felt I had no shared past with people as I had not attended school or Uni here.
Working did not improve my social life. The company was small and I had no opportunity to make friends that way. Besides, fashion is not a family friendly environment and I decided to quit and become a stay at home mum.
Things started to change once I had children, joining mothers group and the kinder and school community made me feel like I belonged.
At that point I started thinking about work again and I took on a part-time job at my children’s kindergarten.
Home sickness is a difficult thing to cope with but I am a determined person and eventually things got better .
I discovered a radio station in Melbourne called PBS 106.7 FM, a community station with some great soul music shows. I am now a life member and have been listening continuously for 25 years!
I have always loved music and dancing. I have never been without a record player and love to collect vinyl. In my early teens we moved to a new area in England. I joined the Youth Club and went to discos, I was 13 and that is when I discovered Soul & Funk Music. I was hooked and this genre has continued to be my favourite music.
One summer I was visiting a friend in Lisbon and when the DJ at his boyfriend’s club didn’t turn up we double decked the whole night. It was such fun and the buzz we got from filling a dance floor was amazing.
Many years later I had a party for my 50th and hired a DJ in Melbourne. Although he was ok, I thought I could do better.
My children were growing up and I decided it was time to try something new.
I bought the decks and mixer and, following the suggestion of a fellow DJ, did the presenters course at PBS radio. I am now doing fill ins on the radio’s Soul Shows and I feel part of the community of DJs in Melbourne.
My dream was to start a soul night in my neighbourhood as there was nothing groovy here to go to. I started Southside Soul with a friend in May 2013.
The night has been running for 6 years and I am very proud of it.
Southside Soul is a vinyl only night where DJ s including myself play our Soul, R&B, Funk & Motown records, have a dance and have fun. I love to dance so this is ideal for me!
We have used Southside Soul to help others, running fundraisers and raising money for different charity organisations.
It took me 30 years to find my real passion and I am lucky to now have some regular gigs as a DJ in Melbourne.
I chose the name DJ Lady Soul as I think it fits me well. Soul, Funk and Disco lift my soul and having music in my life is really fulfilling.
My family is very supportive and Damien helps me with the equipment, my unpaid roadie!
Moving to another country is not easy but now I feel that living here has enriched me in so many ways and I have no regrets .
My advice is to love life and stay soulful, don’t let age stand in the way of following your dreams and passions!!
Carol Quinlan, AKA Lady Soul