BORN TO SURVIVE
TROY CASSAR-DALEY LENDS HIS STRENGTH TO BOND’S ANNUAL INDIGENOUS GALA
Singer-songwriter Troy Cassar-Daley describes himself as a larrikin at heart who has often learnt life lessons the hard way.
That attitude will be on full show tomorrow evening as he takes to the stage for the annual Bond University Indigenous Gala.
There, he’ll share stories about growing up as an indigenous Australian and his rise to the pinnacle of the Aussie country music industry, as well as perform some of his most-loved songs.
Since the gala’s 2010 inception, it has established itself as quite the Gold Coast social outing, not to mention having raised more than $1 million to go towards the education of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
As a proud member of the Bundjalung nation, CassarDaley was surely top of the list to front the event, which more than 550 people are expected to attend.
In Cassar-Daley’s recent tell-all memoir, Things I Carry Around, the star traces his life from growing up with his indigenous mum in Grafton, to spending time with his Maltese-Australian dad in Sydney’s swanky Surry Hills.
Cassar-Daley took three years to write the book, describing the gathering of so many memories as an emotional rollercoaster.
“I want people to see you can go through a lot of things in a family and still be resilient, still get out the other end OK,” he says.
The book is a story of his staunch love for family and his indigenous heritage, as well as the highs and lows of his career and his passion for performing. Of his album, also titled Things I Carry Around, he says: “Each song has a direct connection to the book and helps set the tones that have been the soundtrack of my life.
“There is no sugar coating here. This is my story as it stands and as I remember it.”
Cassar-Daley started out his music career at the ripe old age of 10 when he signed up for guitar lessons, never thinking he would one day end up with a collection of 32 Golden Guitar Awards.
His album True Believer was a turning point for the artist and includes references to the struggles and triumphs he has endured.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival has always been special to Cassar-Daley, who writes about Keith Urban winning his first Golden Guitar Award among other celebrity anecdotes. For instance, the one about teaching country music legend Willie Nelson how to play the didgeridoo, and tales about his time spent in Nashville – the beating heart of country music in America.
The love of Cassar-Daley’s life, wife Laurel whom he met at the Gympie Talent Quest, son Clay and daughter Jem are the most important things in his life. And, charmingly, he still drives his old EH Holden that overheats on a hot day. Troy Cassar-Daly, tomorrow, 6pm, Bond University. Tickets $220 per person or $2200 for a table of 10
Troy Cassar-Daley first performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival at the age of 11. Tomorrow he plays Bond University for its annual Indigenous Gala.