This Day in History ( 14 July,1972 )

Deborah Mailman 
born: 14 July, 1972 

Deborah is an Australian television and film actress. She was the first Aboriginal actress to win the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She is well known for having played the character 'Kelly' on successful Australian television series, The Secret Life of Us.

Deborah grew up in Mount Isa in north west Queensland and is one of five children born to Walter John, a famous Rodeo Rider and horseman, and Jane (Heeni) Mailman. She has both Indigenous Australian (Bidjera) and Māori (Ngati Porou and Te Arawa) heritage. She played the role of Kate in a La Boite Theatre production of Shakespeare's 'The Taming of the Shrew' in 1994. She also had a difficult time when she was in primary school because she was constantly teased about her weight.

She appeared in the film Rabbit-Proof Fence in 2002. She played a lead role in the 2010 musical film Bran Nue Dae. In the play The Sapphires and the subsequent film of the same name she played the role of singer Gail McCraethe. In 1992 she graduated from Queensland University of Technology Academy of the Arts with A Bachelor of Arts majoring in Performing Arts. Since then she has worked extensively in Australian film, television and theatre as well as many contributions overseas.

Whether Deb entertained your children (or helped you learn to tell the time as a child) during her 1990s stint on Playschool, or you followed her character Kelly through young adulthood in The Secret Life of Us, or caught up with her more recently as nurse Cherie in Offspring, there's no doubt you've at some stage been captivated by her larger than life presence and her infectious smile.

Radiance (DVD) ~
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