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‘Gods of Wheat Street’ has been described as an Aboriginal ‘Neighbours’ or ‘Home and Away.’ But on set, we were calling it ‘Black to the Rafters.’

Shari Sebbens

A lot of my identity as an Aboriginal person is about family.

Shari Sebbens

I definitely take after my dad, looks-wise. But my mum is my greatest inspiration. All the women in my family are amazing. They’re hilarious. I love funny people.

Shari Sebbens

I look forward to the day when indigenous actors can play Hamlet and Ophelia and not just Othello and Desdemona.

Shari Sebbens

I want to work as hard as I can. But I also want six kids! It takes a lot of courage as an actor to take time off for family. But family is everything.

Shari Sebbens

I was shocked when I moved to Sydney how very few indigenous people I came across. And so when I go to places like Maroubra or Redfern or Waterloo or Erskineville, I feel more at home because of the people I’m around – anywhere I can see a face that reflects someone that looks like my family, I feel much more at home.

Shari Sebbens

I’m a believer, but an unsettled one. I think it has something to do with the fact that my grandmother always told me she would come back and tickle my feet at night time when she passed away. She hasn’t gotten me yet. But I keep the blanket over my feet at night, no matter how hot it is.

Shari Sebbens

I’m attracted to strong female roles: females that aren’t necessarily defined by their relationships with men.

Shari Sebbens

I’ve never been one to bow down to people who try to question my identity because I don’t fit their mould of what an Aboriginal Australian is supposed to be or look like.

Shari Sebbens

I’ve only auditioned for one non-culturally specific role. I went through drama school and studied classic texts and played lead roles in ‘Measure for Measure’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ alongside a very culturally diverse group of acting students. But as soon as we graduate and enter the industry, all of those roles fall away.

Shari Sebbens

I’ve trained myself not to put too much emphasis on awards, only because I never got into acting to win an award.

Shari Sebbens

It had never occurred to me that my colour – or lack of it – was an issue for some people, but then I moved to Sydney, and apparently it was. People look at me and don’t see what they think is a typical Aboriginal. Thankfully, my mother raised me well in knowing where I come from and who I am, and I’m proud of that.

Shari Sebbens

It takes a lot of courage as an actor to take time off for family. But family is everything.

Shari Sebbens

My mum’s from Broome, so I’m a saltwater person – Aboriginal people are either freshwater, saltwater or desert mob. So I always feel much more comfortable in close proximity to the beach, even if I’m not necessarily in the water.

Shari Sebbens

One of my earliest memories is being backstage at ‘Bran Nue Dae’ in Darwin when I was about eight. It’s such a fun, happy show and a real celebration of being Aboriginal… it felt really great and achievable as a career. It all felt normal.

Shari Sebbens

People look at me and they don’t see what they think is a typical Aboriginal.

Shari Sebbens

People look at me, and they don’t see what they think is a typical Aboriginal. I always thought I’d be the white person in a black play.

Shari Sebbens

Stage is definitely my home first and foremost – I still feel like I’m yet to earn my stripes on set.

Shari Sebbens

There is this really old school stereotypical notion in Australia that to be Aboriginal you have to be black: anything but white or pale skinned. What ‘The Sapphires’ does is open up the conversation that I’ve been having my whole life, the fact that being indigenous isn’t about the color of your skin; it’s about your connection to your culture.

Shari Sebbens

Andre Dubus
Henry Rider Haggard
Cameron Sinclair
Bubba Watson