Joel was born in Ipswich, Queensland in 1982, and is a descendant of the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh tribe. His grandfather was a descendant of the people of Mer Island, Torres Strait Islands.
An avid sportsman, Joel’s life revolved around surfing and rugby league, before choosing to pursue a different forte – dancing.
Encouraged by the earlier instruction of his uncle, Joel began dancing at age 14 with a traditional dance troupe, travelling throughout south east Queensland. In his travels he met a number of key influences, such as 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Desmond Tutu and R&B musician George Benson.
Joel performed with Bangarra Dance Theatre from 2001-2003. Dancing and touring with Bangarra was a great experience and a big learning curve in his life and his daily involvement with all the Dancers was a highlight in itself.
His culture and the generations of Indigenous people that have gone before him inspire Joel. He feels that success is not about money or the limelight, and that money can’t buy what he has learnt.
His ambition in life is to fulfil his dreams and to be happy doing the best that he can.