"I worry I'm not Aboriginal enough." Casey Donovan's lifelong struggle to find her identity. 


Since she was just a little girl, Casey Donovan has been plagued with questions about her Aboriginal heritage.

The singer-songwriter, whose biological father is Indigenous, has always had an ongoing struggle with finding a meaningful connection to her Aboriginal family heritage.

Speaking on SBS’s Who Do You Think You Are, Casey admitted that when she was asked about her Aboriginality after winning Australian Idol at just 16 years old, she didn’t feel like she had enough knowledge or even a sense of belonging to her Indigenous roots to answer them.

WATCH: Andrew Denton interviews former Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan. Post continues after video.

“It was such a shock to the system having the whole country knowing your name and knowing your story. It was quite daunting,” Casey explained.

“Sometimes, I worry that I’m not Aboriginal enough,” she admitted.

“Now, being 31, it’ll be nice to glue some of the pieces together.”

On tonight’s episode of SBS’s Who Do You Think You Are, Casey, whose parents separated when she was just three years old, explored her Indigenous roots.

While tracing her family tree in the show, Casey learned about her great-great-grandmother on her father’s side, Florence Randall.

Lovingly remembered in the community as Granny Flo, Casey’s ancestor was known for keeping the Gumbaynggirr language alive on the mid north cost of New South Wales and working as a midwife.


“Finding out little bits of information is really shaping me as a person,” Casey told Granny Flo’s great grandchildren. “It’s okay to come back home, and that’s what I’ve been searching for.”

Casey Donovan Who Do You Think You Are
Casey Donovan on Who Do You Think You Are. Image: SBS/Supplied.

She also discovered where her love for music comes from.


While chatting with Granny Flo's great-grandchildren, Casey was able to listen to a recording of her great-great-grandmother singing.

"One among the many things I've learned from both my mothers side and my father side, is that the women are strong individuals," she said.

"Granny Flo had to deal with the racism and the segregation, where on the other side, three times great grandma Mary Salmon had to find herself in the same country, but completely different worlds. It's very empowering that they just kept going," she continued.

"All I can remember is that I've felt like I don't belong in this environment and it's taken me until I'm 30 to come back home.

"Coming on this journey has really opened my eyes and my heart. It's lifted a weight. It makes me feel like I belong."

casey donovan
"It's lifted a weight. It makes me feel like I belong." Image: Getty.

Speaking to SBS Life about her experience on Who Do You Think You Are, the 31-year-old explained that her time on the show has taken a weight of her shoulders.

"When you come from a broken family and you grow up with all these questions that rarely get answered... after not knowing who I was and struggling with my identity, to do the show and have these answers given to me, it really was a weight taken off my shoulders," she said.

"I feel like I can go forward and be proud of who I am and know that people love and care about me," she added.

"I definitely feel comfortable knowing who I am and that it’s okay to be 100 per cent me. There’s nobody else I can be."

Casey Donovan's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? is available to watch now on SBS On Demand.

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