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After a meteoric rise to fame at the age of 16, Casey became the youngest ever winner of Australian Idol in 2004. A proud Gumbaynggirr and Dungatti woman, first nations artist, over the last nineteen years, Donovan has made her mark not only as a musician, but also in the areas of stage, screen, presenting and writing. Casey is a multi-Award winner & nominee, including an ARIA No #1 Award and Triple Platinum for ‘Listen With Your Heart’ from the Double Platinum Album ‘For You’ and Deadly Awards for Best Album, Best Single and Most Promising New Talent.
After taking a break from music, in 2010 Casey returned to the music arena with the release of her hotly anticipated single Big, Beautiful & Sexy. As a result of this inspirational song, she not only garnered new fans Australia-wide, but also became a poster girl for fuller-figured women. Casey took her Big, Beautiful & Sexy ethos further by touring in her own show, which has seen the remarkable singer perform to sell-out crowds at some of the country’s most coveted venues and participate in events such as Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, The Rocks Festival of the Voice, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute’s Spirit Festival, Darwin Festival and Yabun Festival.
Casey has also headlined her own Mama Cass Tribute concerts and supported the legendary Cyndi Lauper on her 2011 Australian National Tour.
Under the direction of Rhoda Roberts, in 2009 Casey made her theatrical debut in Miracle In Brisbane for the Brisbane Festival. This was to be the first of many acclaimed theatrical performances thus far in Casey’s career, including The Sapphires (Company B/Black Swan State Theatre Company/2010), As You Like It (Company B/2011), The Flowerchildren (Magnormos/2011, Opera Yarrabah (Opera Australia/2012), RENT (Hayes Theatre/2015), as ‘Killer Queen’ in We Will Rock You (Andrew Pole/Ben Elton/2016) and Chicago as ‘Mamma Morton’ (Frost Jones/2019). Casey’s stage credits have earned her respect from the industry, which has seen her receive a nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical’ in the Sydney Theatre Awards.
Over the span of her illustrious career, Casey has appeared on many television programs including The Morning Show, Sunrise, 20 to 1, Today Show, Today Extra, Cram, Family Feud, ABC Playschool Storytime, Studio 10, Fusion, Yarramundi Kids, Spicks & Specks, Good, Rove Live, Carols by Candlelight, ABC New Year’s Eve & ABC Australia Day telecast’s and has presented her own indigenous music themed show Fusion on SBS/NITV during 2012 and 2013. Casey made her scripted television debut in 2018 on Network Ten’s comedy series Streetsmart as ‘Tia’ the probationary parking inspector
Casey captivated readers with her autobiography Big, Beautiful & Sexy (New Holland Publishers) and made her mark in the plus size fashion market, becoming an emcee and ambassador for the Curvy Couture Roadshow in Melbourne, plus becoming featured writer for international publications such as Pink Blitz, and Plus Model Magazine.
In January 2017, Casey was announced as a cast member of the third series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here which was filmed on location in South Africa. After six gruelling weeks in the jungle, Donovan went on to be crowned QUEEN of the Jungle by vote of the Australian Public, her second reality TV win by a public vote winning $100,000 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Casey’s appearance on the hit network 10 series has seen the versatile entertainer win an outpouring of love and support from Australian audiences. Following this Casey performed an incredibly moving cover of the David Bowie song ‘Heroes’ at the 2017 Logie Awards, for which she received a standing ovation and rave reviews from the Entertainment Industry and the general public.
Casey released her highly anticipated EP Off The Grid and Somewhere In Between, which was crowdfunded by her biggest supporters in 2017. Donovan’s new single Lonely was released jumping 60 places overnight in the iTunes single charts to the Top 30; this was followed with a series of live an intimate show around the country to reconnect Casey with music lovers and her biggest supporters.
Casey became an ambassador for Coles Supermarkets in 2017, entertaining Australians with the ‘Down Down’ campaign TV commercials and continues to lend her name and support to a number of charitable and non-profit organisations in her roles as Ambassador for RU OK, MMAD and Camp Quality and Advocate for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and as one of the founding members of the New South Wales Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.
Casey has fast become a must-see and hear performer at the annual New Year’s Eve gala on the foreshore of the Sydney Opera House with performances in 2017 (Lady Marmalade, Nutbush City Limits, Think, Don’t Stop Me Now) 2019 (Rolling In the Deep, I Will Survive, If I Could Turn Back Time, Purple Rain), 2020 (September, 9 To 5, So Caught Up,) and 2021 (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Higher Love, Finally, Born This Way) and Australia Day performances at the iconic location in 2021 (Two Strong Hearts, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Thunderstruck) and 2022 (Age of Reason, In The Summertime) as well as co-hosting, all televised nationally on ABC TV and iView.
With growing demand from the Theatre world, in 2019 Casey starred as ‘Mama Morton’ in the Australian revival of the musical Chicago to rave reviews and in November 2019 was invited to participate in Eurovision – Australia Decides performing the original song ‘Proud’ in the national final on February 8, 2021, placing second.
In 2020, on invitation from national broadcaster, Nova Entertainment, Casey became a podcast host on ‘The Space’, a mindfulness podcast of 3–4-minute mini-episodes with cringe-free meditations, motivations, and tops on how to improve your day.
In 2021, Casey, was cast as lunatic ‘Luna Keys’ in the hit TV show How To Stay Married, alongside Peter Helliar and Lisa McCune, where she was able to peel back the layers of character acting and show her diverse talent and delivery to wide acclaim.
Throughout the pandemic in 2020/ 2021, Casey has not only entertained her fans, but nourished her own musical soul, with a Facebook Live performance BluesDay Tuesday, where each week, she acoustically performs some of her favourite songs but also fan requests. “Bluesday is a show that uses music for healing, thought, interaction, distraction, storytelling whether it be m music or someone else’s” says Casey. With thousands tuning in each week, Casey has decided to do a short mini tour in her home State of Victoria in October & November 2021.
In 2021 Casey took on the hosting role alongside Noni Hazelhurst and Kurt Fearnley of SBS TV’s What Does Australia Really Think?, a series that reveals what Australia thinks about disability, obesity, and old age through emotional personal stories, confronting social experiments and a nationwide survey.
2022 saw Casey return to the stage as a lead in the hit musical 9 TO 5, playing the role of Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda role from the hit movie) with mid show standing ovations for her solo ‘Get Out & Stay Out’. The year also saw Casey and band finally hit the road with the re-scheduled BluesDay tour dates to resounding success.
Already on a health kick, Casey joined Jenny Craig as an ambassador in September 2022 and within two months for the first time in her life, Casey dipped below 100kg and is feeling her best ever.
On New Year’s Eve (Eve – 30 Dec 2022), Casey released her long-awaited brand-new single ‘Shake It’. A cross between Mambo #5 and Happy. Shake It has two ear-worm hooks which is unheard of in pop songs these days. The song was instantly added to ABC Radio nationally, JoyFM and many other stations coming on board. Fans have embraced the song adding it to their own playlists.
Seeing out 2022, Casey once again commanded the stage of the Sydney Opera House for the annual ABC TV New Year’s Eve Concert performing About Damn Time, Dancing On My Own, I’m On Your Side (duet with Vika & Linda Bull in memory and respect of the passing of Uncle Archie Roach), hew new single ‘Shake It’ and one of the most talked about performances of the night This Is Me from the Greatest Showman movie soundtrack. Casey’s performance of This Is Me truly blew the roof off the Sydney Opera House with over 800k views of the performance on ABC iView Instagram account alone, cementing her as the Queen of New Year’s Eve once again.
Casey kicked off 2023, co-hosting and performing at Australia Day Live, Sydney Opera House (ABC TV), Midsumma Victoria Pride, Sydney World Pride Opening Concert Performance and co-hosting with Courtney Act (ABC TV), Blak & Deadly First Nations Concert (at the Sydney Opera House) and the leading role of Angelique in the new blockbuster musical theatre production ‘& Juliet’ commencing at the Regent Theatre Melbourne on 26 February 2023, heading onto Singapore (Sep/Oct 2023), then Perth and Sydney for 2024. As the host of Nova Entertainment’s Podcast series “The Space” (3 Million downloads), Casey entered her third year with the podcast and looking forward to the fourth year in 2024. On 1 July 2023, Casey co-hosted the annual NAIDOCC Awards in Brisbane, televised by ABC TV. In August 2023, Casey officially partnered with clothing brand and retailer Taking Shape (TS) who have over 160 locations in Australia & New Zealand. Casey is the new ambassador and will also be releasing her own range of designs throughout 2024.
Casey is an ambassador for The Australian Literature & Numeracy Foundation for Children, Support Act, AusMusic T-Shirt Day.