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School Days - Tempany Deckert

Author: Margaret Cook
Date: 27/02/1996
Words: 474
          Publication: The Age
Section: News
Page: 4
School Days: Tempany Deckert.

Age: 17 plays Selina Roberts in Home and Away on the Seven Network.

Where were you educated?

I went to Mooroolbark Primary School, then we moved and I went to Wandin North Primary and Monbulk High School. I began year 11 in 1994 and I got good marks in first term, all As and Bs. But I left when I got the part on Home and Away.

What were your favorite subjects at school?

From the age of 11, I wanted to act. I began studying at MBCTA youth theatre in Boronia when I was 10 and I started working professionally when I was 11. I joined an agency and I began with some educational videos. So many kids have written to me saying they saw me before Home and Away. I was also on Tonight Live and an episode of Flying Doctors, and in another video about problem kids.

What were your interests at school?

My favorites were English and English Literature and I really loved maths. I didn't enjoy drama. So many people thought it was a "bludge subject" and they stuffed around. But I took it very seriously. I was in an advanced drama class (outside of school) and I was doing plays like Medea and Romeo and Juliet. It was hard to be in a subject I loved but where everyone else was messing around.

What did you want to be when you were at school?

The drama classes made me feel a little angry and I ended up not knowing what I wanted to do. My careers teacher asked me and I said I wanted to act. It was: "Well, that doesn't help us much, you can't do much with that." So I ended up doing a range of subjects: English, Literature, physics, two maths, computing and Japanese. I was always interested in languages, I began with German and then I swapped to Japanese in year nine. I still try to study Japanese at home with my text books when I have time.

When did you decide on your present career?

I auditioned for Home and Away three times in Melbourne along with the other Victorian girls. The third time, they asked if I could fly up to Sydney to do a screen test. Then they told me: "You have the part, can you fly back tomorrow and start to film?" I had to go to my coordinator - and say I was leaving. But the school was very supportive.

Was school a positive experience?

I never had any problems with it. I wasn't a rebel and I always studied hard and got the best marks I could. But towards the end, when there was more work to be covered, I found the kids weren't really learning anything . . . I think it's important to talk about the work and really understand it, rather than talking about it once, saying: "We've covered that" and then going on to something else.

 
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