It’s not every day you spot a woman in her 60s deejaying at a wedding, a sports club, or a birthday party, but Canberra’s Sue Freeman didn’t let her age stop her from chasing her dreams and doing what she loves.
After a video of her deejaying went viral across social media in 2021, the local entertainer from Calwell, better known as DJ Sue, had her talents recognised nationwide and began appearing on radio, TV and online publications, and also gained a large following on TikTok.
The 65-year-old said one of her proudest achievements was auditioning for Channel 7’s reality show, Australia’s Got Talent (which aired on Monday 31 October).
“I then thought to myself, I don’t want to make a fool out of myself, I don’t do anything special, I just go out, play music and have fun,” she said.
“Then they said, ‘we really want you on the show’, and they really encouraged me, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to get out there and give it a try.”
DJ Sue said she was blown away the other night when she watched her audition on TV.
“I remember how much I was shaking with the microphone, but once I got up there, I went into performance mode and just did my thing and the crowd began cheering,” she said.
“I still don’t know how I had the courage to get up there, but I gave it my best shot.”
Her journey began 12 years ago when she decided she wanted to quit her job and pursue a career as a deejay.
“I had gone to a wedding where there was a female DJ playing music who was probably in her 40s, and I thought that would be a fun job to do. However, she didn’t play every song request.
“Then I went to another wedding, and there was a young guy deejaying, and he was looking at his phone half the time, so I thought, why shouldn’t I give it a go?”
DJ Sue then asked for her family and friends’ thoughts on her career change.
“I thought to myself, what’s the worst thing that could happen, and if no one books me, then we’d have some pretty cool equipment to party at home, ” she said.
“I then went up to Sydney and completed a half-day DJ course. After that, I bought some equipment, and my son Ryan (who was only about 14 at the time) and I began taking bookings.
“We would regularly do school discos together where he would make the music and I would coordinate the fun for the kids and the lingo and things like that, but after a while, as he got older, he wasn’t as keen, and had his own life, so I thought, ‘I can do this myself’.”
The mum of two and grandmother of one said although she had been deejaying for more than 10 years, it wasn’t until early last year when she became involved in a six-week program by City Renewal Authority that she was recognised.
“I would play music outside the Dickson shops every Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm and I’d always have people walking past and taking photos and videos of me all the time because it’s a bit unusual to see someone my age doing what I do,” DJ Sue said.
“Then one day, a video posted online went viral overnight and blew me away.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening … it was just incredible how much support and recognition I received.”
DJ Sue regularly deejays at The Tradies in Dickson and every so often at the LDK Retirement Village in Tuggeranong.
She has also deejayed at the Vikings Club in Lanyon, Erindale and Chisholm, the Googong Kite Festival, Questacon’s Mid-Winter Nights June in 2019 and 2022, at Manuka Oval for the GWS Giants in 2021, and also Manuka Oval for the Big Bash League (BBL) cricket for the Sydney Thunder Cricket games in 2021 and 2022.
As a lover of R’n’B music and a deejay who caters to all, DJ Sue said the best part about her job is seeing people dance and have fun.
“I’ve met so many wonderful people in Canberra, and I’ve got this group of people that follow me and come wherever I’m playing music, so I’m kind of guaranteed people on the dance floor and it’s just the best job ever,” she said.
“I’m just trying to show people that you don’t have to be young to be a deejay… I would never have imagined I’d be where I am today at 65 years old and that I’d be doing something that makes me happy and makes other people so happy.
“If you have an idea or something you are passionate about, you should give it a go no matter what age you are because it really doesn’t matter … what’s the worst that could happen?”