Makes contact

Natalie Im­bruglia tells why her TV re­turn was phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally ex­haust­ing. By Colin Vickery

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS -

NATALIE Im­bruglia is back on Aus­tralian TV for the first time in six years – but she is a world away from Ram­say Street.

The for­mer Neigh­bours star is stand­ing in front of Ray Martin at Uluru, pre­par­ing for a lifechang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Im­bruglia, an in­ter­na­tional chart-top­per with her song

Torn, is one of six celebri­ties tak­ing part in the sec­ond sea­son of First Contact.

The 41-year-old, along with for­mer One Na­tion politi­cian David Old­field, TV judge Ian “Dicko” Dick­son, co­me­dian Tom Bal­lard, for­mer Miss Uni­verse Aus­tralia Re­nae Ayris and ac­tor Nicki Wendt, vis­its re­mote Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties dec­i­mated by drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion and high rates of sui­cide.

First Contact is the first time Im­bruglia has been on Aussie TV since her judg­ing stint on tal­ent show The X

Fac­tor in 2010. In July last year, she re­leased cov­ers al­bum Male. But other than that, she has been off the grid. So what has she been up to?

“I am song­writ­ing ac­tu­ally and I’m see­ing what kind of an al­bum that’s go­ing to turn into,” she says. “I also have a cou­ple of busi­ness ven­tures I’m work­ing on. I tend to keep quiet un­less I’ve got some­thing to talk about. I don’t self-pro­mote be­tween jobs. I just get on with life.”

Im­bruglia’s most emo­tion­ally af­fect­ing ex­pe­ri­ence came when she, Ayris and Wendt trav­elled to Coota­mundra to hear first-hand from women sep­a­rated from their fam­i­lies as chil­dren – the stolen gen­er­a­tion.

“It is one thing to know that it hap­pened, but to sit there with peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced it was a lot,” Im­bruglia says of the visit.

“Some of them were still strug­gling with the trauma but so many of them were look­ing to the fu­ture. I found that in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing.”

FIRST CONTACT TUES­DAY-THURS­DAY, 8.30PM, SBS

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