About Paul

About Paul Main Image

As a young kid, Paul started ballet, jazz and tap lessons at the age of nine - so you could say he started dancing his own steps a long time ago. He attended John Curtin Senior High School (now John Curtin College of the Arts) in Western Australia that offered a special theatre arts course – from that time on Paul’s fate was sealed for all things performing arts.

He went on to dance and choreograph with Sydney Dance Company from 1982 – 1992, touring extensively around the world. It was in 1990 that Paul was approached by a young director called Baz Luhrmann asking Paul to contribute choreography for a movie he had written - a year later Paul was cast in the lead role of Scott Hastings in ‘Strictly Ballroom’ and the rest is history.

‘Strictly Ballroom’ hit the cinemas in 1992 at the same time Paul launched his own contemporary ballet company, Australian Choreographic Ensemble, which went on to perform works for the next two years before the call of Hollywood became too strong to ignore.

Since then, Paul has appeared in 15 Australian and American feature films and contributed choreography to 5 feature films including ‘Strictly Ballroom’ and Will Smith’s film, ‘I Robot’.

To say Paul has built an impressive list of credits in a variety of roles is an understatement. Through the 90s and 00s he appeared in most of the Australian made TV dramas, went on to be a judge on 13 series of Dancing with the Stars – in Australia and New Zealand. He also has filmed 70 episodes of his cooking shows. 

Paul has written three cookbooks published by Murdoch Books, released his own beer on the market, had his own restaurant and developed his own spice range which sold in supermarkets and markets. He has been a featured chef at food fairs around the country and on television, hosted countless charity events and MC’d all sorts of other events and conferences. In short, Paul has had many varied careers.

So why politics?

In 2017, Paul moved to Tyabb on the Western Port side of the Mornington Peninsula. It was here that he first become involved in local community issues, he began to write letters to the local paper about these concerns. Paul quickly concluded that to effect real change he needed to be where those decisions were made and so he ran for local council and won. 

Never being on a school committee or a committee of any kind the local government experience was certainly an eye opener. Whilst Paul was able to successfully affect some of the changes the community wanted, he was ultimately left frustrated by those he could not. In 2021, he was tapped on the shoulder to run for the State Election and after making enquiries confirming he could be more effective for his community at that level, he decided to run and subsequently won the seat of Hastings at the 2022 Victorian state election.

It is somewhat ironic that after playing the role of Scott Hastings that Paul is now the Member for Hastings. Paul brings an enormous amount of unique lived experience to this role and will continue to dance his own steps in Parliament to represent his community.