AUSTRALIAN Idol winner Casey Donovan yesterday told of how she went from being lonely and depressed to loving herself as a “big, beautiful and sexy woman”.
Her message for Albury school children was that she now loved herself in an industry that celebrated thinness.
The singer spoke to year 7 students at James Fallon High School, along with year 5 and 6 students from Albury North, Thurgoona, Hume and Glenroy public schools.
“Being a bigger girl in the music industry brings a lot of negativity,” she said.
“I battled behind closed doors as that girl with the amazing voice; and the attitude of ‘man she should lose some weight’.”
Donovan later said she had wanted to tell the students how she had learned to put a smile on her face and rise above it.
“It’s empowering that kids look up to me,” she said.
“If they can take what I say and reach for their dreams, it’s amazing.”
Donovan also told the students about her experiences on the talent show and the 10 years that followed.
She was in Albury to start a new tour after a few years off stage.
It kicked it off at the Albury Entertainment Centre last night.
“It’s nerve-racking, but exciting,” she said
“I feel like I’ve been living under a rock.”
James Fallon High School year 7 student Jazz Firebrace, 12, said she admired Donovan because “she’s tried hard and she’s an indigenous person,” she said.
Jazz, who wants to be an athlete, said it was important to have indigenous role models.
“If people are indigenous like you, it makes you want to be more like them,” she said.
Another year 7 student, Malachi Wighton, 12, said he also looked up to Donovan.
“She is indigenous like me,” the drumming student said.
Donovan also spoke at the Aboriginal Health Service about body image, Idol, battling nerves and indigenous culture.