In 2015 Takaya was given the incredible opportunity of joining the Play School fraturnity which includes Essie Davis, Cloin Firels, Noni Hazelhurst, Deborah Mailman, Georgie Parker, Brooke Satchwell, Hugh Sheridan and current presenters Simon Burke, Eddie Perfect, Jay Laga'aia, Justine Clarke and Miranda Tapsell. Takaya's bio from the Play School Website: I grew up, as most Australian kids do, eating fairy bread and Vegemite on toast, going to the beach in summer, adventuring through the bush and most importantly, watching, learning from, singing with and dancing to Play School. It is an icon of Australian television and is seminal viewing for Australian kids, which makes being a part of it a great honour and absolute privilege.
I remember distinctly wanting to be an 'inventor' as a kid - having the ability to dream something up and make it a reality. Lo and behold, here I am on Play School, taking a plastic bottle and turning it into a bird in the imagination of every child in Australia! What a dream come true.
My career as an actor began with my performing (and loving) the works of Shakespeare outdoors, with Sport For Jove Theatre Company. It is a theatrical challenge in which performance is continually rated like a political worm by the kids in the front row, who are either bug-eyed and enthralled, or distractedly watching butterflies dance by. I was fortunate to be a part of productions which predominantly garnered positive reactions, quickly learning that the greatest barometer for truth is a child. From there, I was cast in the popular tween television series A gURLs wURLd, giving me my first TV experience, borne from my first screen audition. Then, to my first presenting experience alongside some ABC3 favourites, in My Great Big Adventure, where tough topics were made accessible and taboo was not a problem.
My father was the Australian National Coach for Women's Artistic Gymnastics and my parents coached gymnastics until 2014. I grew up in their gymnasiums surrounded by children and feel like I am proudly carrying on their tradition of teaching Australia's youth. I certainly would not be where I am today if it weren't for them!