My Matangi Island experience

At our August graduation, Deborah Stratton was awarded the most outstanding student in Spa Therapy which included the prize of an exciting opportunity to work at Matangi Private Island Resort for two months after graduation. She shares her experience with us below.



Tell us about your experience at matangi island?

The bula spirit of Fiji is so warm and welcoming –  I feel blessed to have been able to spend two months in this tropical paradise. It was awesome to work in such a beautiful ocean spa and to learn Fijian Bobo massage techniques from native therapists. Christene helped me a lot by providing plenty of learning opportunities and her feedback was invaluable. Matangi Island is very beautiful and I spent many days doing fun activities and going on village tours.

What was the highlight of the experience?

The second day on the job this beautiful white super yacht anchors right in front of the spa. Soon the tender comes over with an American crew asking for permission to land on the Island. He asked did we have availability right now for spa treatments and would we be available for a couples massage for his client followed by a pedicure and a manicure for his wife. We set them both up very comfortably with cocktails on the spa deck watching a beautiful sunset. He was a movie producer sailing the pacific with his wife who is a hollywood actress. Pretty cool for the second day on the job – I thought I’m going to love this!


Photo Matangi Private Island Resort


What did you learn that you feel will be invaluable in your working life?

“The one who creates does not wait for an opportunity, blaming circumstances, the fates, and the gods. He seizes opportunities or creates them with the magic wand of his will, effort, and searching discrimination. Before embarking on important undertakings, sit quietly, calm your senses and thoughts, and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of spirit.”

This has worked for me!!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Paramahansa Yogananda. He taught me the meaning of compassion and opened my eyes to the spiritual world around me. I highly recommend reading “Autobiography of a Yogi”, it may change your life.

What advice do you have for students coming into the program?

When telling a male client to undress run for the door immediately because the second you say to a man “take your clothes off …” He starts to do just that!!! Best to leave that instruction to the very end after explaining everything else, then tell him to undress and then bolt for the door, hahaha.

I was apprehensive about being in a room with a man on my own while giving him a full body massage but I never had any problems and none of the male clients made me feel uncomfortable in any way, of course I was sure to maintain a professional attitude at all times. Most of them fell asleep once I started working on them and the worst part is they snore! – really loudly! It’s hard not to giggle.

What’s in your beauty bag?

Aromatherapy is my first love and I will be studying it next year so it comes as no surprise that most of my skincare is based on essential oils and natural products- a lot that I make myself. One product I absolutely love at the moment is a hair conditioner I bought before going away.  It’s called Clean Blonde by Fudge…. it is for blonde hair and it is amazing and only costs $20!

What’s your favourite scent?

Oscar De La Renta is my signature scent. I love this perfume so much, from its top notes right down to its lingering base notes…it’s a classic. I’ve scoured the internet looking for the recipe of what oils make Oscar but it’s a heavily guarded secret, damn! Now if I could create a blend that appealed to me as much as Oscar does, it would be a dream come true.

What’s your favourite product?

Jojoba Oil. You definitely get what you pay for with this product, it doesn’t have to be expensive but I stay away from the cheaper brands though. I would be devastated without it. Having been born with a true sensitive skin this oil is worth more to me than gold.

How do you unwind?

Yoga and Meditation. No doubt about it – I need meditation to stay sane. At the moment I’m learning Tai Chi with a girlfriend to help with my massage stance and I’m really loving it. Swimming in the ocean always makes me happy.

Dream destination holiday?

Sedona in America. I love crystals and this area has a lot of world class spas and one that specialises in crystal therapies. I made a lot of American contacts while I was in Fiji and have been invited to stay with people who work in this area. I find this incredibly exciting as I believe crystal vibrational medicine is going to be the way of the future so this would definitely be my dream holiday at the moment. If money and time was no obstacle I would go on a world safari with friends for a year or more and experience every culture on earth.


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