Leah Purcell Faced Racism From Both Sides

Tiddas 4 Tiddas

Mamamia Podcasts

Leah Purcell Faced Racism From Both Sides

If you’re a young girl growing up in Murgon Queensland, you’re not given many options for what you can be when you grow up. As a child, Leah Purcell distinctly remembers her mother telling her, because she was a black woman from the bush, she was destined to work in a meatworks or to become a nurse. 

But like many young girls, she dreamed of being a dancer and from as young as four, Leah knew she wanted to be a performer.

So when Leah cheekily told her mother she was going be a theatre nurse when she grew up her mother didn’t expect it would lead to her daughter winning an AACTA and a Helpmann. She also didn't reallise Leah would become one of Australia’s most popular Indigenous actors.

You probably know Leah Purcell from her role as Constable Tracey Davis in Police Rescue, or the iconic aunty, Grace, on Redfern Now or more recently as Rita Connors in Wentworth. What you might not know is the story of how it all began... 

This discussion includes talk of suicide and depression. If you find any of the content unsettling, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.


Host: Marlee Silva

With thanks to Leah Purcell.

Producers:  Elissa Ratliff and Amelia Navascues

Follow Tiddas 4 Tiddas on Instagram here. 


Call the PodPhone on 02 8999 9386.

Email the show at [email protected]

Find any book mentioned at apple.co/mamamia

Tiddas 4 Tiddas is a podcast by Mamamia. Find more shows here.

The Tiddas 4 Tiddas artwork is made possible by Call Time on Melanoma and artist Keeley Silva.

Thanks to our sponsors at Belong. 

Support the show.