Michael Anderson and Casey Donovan will be honouring the Tent Embassy that Michael co-founded and that has had a profound impact on subsequent generations.
Michael Anderson and Casey Donovan will be honouring the Tent Embassy that Michael co-founded and that has had a profound impact on subsequent generations. John Waddell

Embassy gave her voice

WITH her roles as a singing sensation, musical theatre mistress and advocate for Indigenous youth, Casey Donovan is a busy woman.

But nothing could stop the 2004 Australian Idol winner from participating in Southern Cross University's NAIDOC celebrations.

Along with Aboriginal Tent Embassy co-founder Michael Anderson, Ms Donovan will headline the NAIDOC Family Day at SCU's Lismore campus today, in the name of awareness and education.

This year's theme is Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 Years On, which Ms Donovan said meant the "whole world" to her.

"They're the ones who have painted the path for us to walk on. They gave us a voice and opportunity," she said about the founders of the Tent Embassy.

Now Donovan uses her voice to reach the younger generations.

As a role model for Indigenous youth, she said she'd like to see the young get educated and become active in their communities.

"They're our next generation. Once we're gone they have to step up to the plate."

So as part of the SCU NAIDOC celebrations this week, Donovan and Anderson have been making appearances at the Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, and now the Lismore campus, promoting awareness and celebrating culture.

Donovan knows first- hand the issues she speaks out about.

She said discovering her culture as a teenager after being raised by a white family was a deeply personal and powerful journey that was marred by discrimination and bullying due to her heritage.

"It's not nice," said Donovan, "There's no need to be bullied, no matter what your race."

The events begin at 11am today and entry is free.



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