We spend 5 minutes with the incredible Jules Sebastian talking family, juggling work and motherhood and The Sebastian Foundations latest partnership aiming to improve mental health for young Australians.
SDT: Being married to one of the countries most successful music artists must mean your life is pretty extraordinary. What does a normal day look like for the Sebastians? (When we aren't in ISO!)
Jules: There's no normal day, that's for sure! I try and keep it as routine as I can with the kids. Day to day, the boys have school and now that we’re coming out of isolation, after school activities so I keep their schedules very routine in that way, but what happens between school hours is anyone’s guess!
Every day is different, it changes daily. We could be shooting for something, Guy could be on The Voice set or writing or shooting a music video, while I could be busy shooting content or doing a styling session.
There's no regular 9-5 life, but we jam it all in and make it work.
SDT: What's been the biggest lesson you've learnt during this time?
Jules: I think the biggest thing I've learnt has been that busy doesn't necessarily mean happy. We've really loved being together because usually Guy is travelling and we're working really hard, and there are events on. So having time where nothing is going on in the outside world has helped us come together, and just be together. What I took out of the whole thing is that everyone is good, everyone is fine, and everyone is OK without jamming in every sport possible for the kids and going to every event. We've been able to really bond as family.
SDT: You've carved out a pretty impressive career for yourself, can you tell us about the work you do?
Jules: I find it so hard to answer this question! Before kids, I was working in styling full time but after it was really hard to maintain those hours, as they can be long and inconsistent. It was important for me that family was number one, so in terms of work, whatever I was really passionate about and I could fit in was going to be the icing on the cake.
I have Tea with Jules, which I've been doing for the past five years which is a beast in itself - there's so much prep that goes into each episode and then filming, editing and promoting but I love talking to people who are interesting and sharing their stories with the world. On top of that, there are brand collaborations. I'm working with some amazing brands at the moment. I am the ambassador for Biolage, which has been amazing.
I get to try all the beautiful products and call that a job which is so fun! I also still do styling and finally, there is the work we do with The Sebastian Foundation which is so
SDT: Yourself and Guy launched The Sebastian Foundation in 2013. How does the foundation give back to Australians?
Jules: Giving back is something that's so important to Guy and I. In the past 6 or so years, we've done a lot of work in the domestic violence space where we've been able to give back to women's and girls shelters. We're doing some work up North and down South on a couple of shelters, renovating their space and giving these women and girls a beautiful place to land. We have some great partners like Freedom Kitchens and Green Options, who help us give shelters new kitchens and beautiful gardens.
When you sit down and speak with the women face to face, you can see the difference being in a beautiful space makes. It's also the simple things like giving them access to a brand new fridge and couch or new clothes and blankets that helps them feel safe, when they might not have felt that for a while.
Last year, Guy and I were talking about The Foundation and we decided we wanted to work in a space we're both really passionate about, which is mental health. It's a space we feel personally connected too, and one we feel like we could make a difference in. I lost my brother to mental health and Guy recently lost a band member, who he wrote the song Choir about. When he released Choir, people resonated with it so much and were coming to us with their own stories.
So, when a friend of ours, Dr Hayley Watson, approached us about a school program she was working on that focussed on youth mental health, we jumped at the chance to partner with her.
The program, Open Parachute, is a school program aimed at kids from Year 5 – Year 12. It's embedded into the school curriculum and uses peer-to-peer learning to help kids understand and talk about mental health. The program uses videos where teenagers talk to the camera about their mental health issues and how they overcame them. This then allows the teacher to facilitate a conversation in the classroom, allowing kids to share openly and safely about things they are struggling with, whether that be depression or anxiety or eating disorders.
We hope that by empowering young people to talk about mental health we can give them the skills to deal with any issues they might face in their teens and in their adult life.
SDT: As a Mother of 2 boys, how important is it for you as parents to now help other youth where possible?
Jules: So important! Obviously, our kids are quite young still, but we thought if we could make a difference and intercept some of the thoughts and conversations that kids are having now while they are young, we would hope that those lessons and skills will carry them into adulthood so if things do get bad, they know how to speak about it.
SDT: How can our readers get involved with The Sebastian Foundation?
Jules: Go to thesebastianfoundation.org/ and hit the donate button. It costs just $20 to get one child through the program and we hope to get 10,000 through by the end of 2021.
If you're a teacher who wants to register your schools interest or chat to Dr Hayley about the program, head to openparachuteschools.com/contact
SDT: Finally, now that lockdown is easing, what does the rest of the year look like for your family?
Jules: Around every corner is something new and fun so it is hard to plan it but more of the same crazy, really! I found a passion for cooking during isolation so definitely more of that. But I also have lots of fun projects in the works right now which I can't wait to share soon! Guy is still filming The Voice and is releasing a new song on Friday (26th June) so that's always a busy time.