From Jessica Mauboy to Nakkiah Lui, Indigenous Australians are making their mark in the entertainment scene. Opera singer Deborah Cheetham says this new wave of artists has the power to unite Indigenous Australians with the broader community.
Ella Archibald-Binge

The Point
3 Mar 2016 - 10:19 PM  UPDATED 4 Mar 2016 - 10:55 AM

Art is a powerful tool for the Indigenous people of Australia, the Yorta Yorta woman told NITV's The Point.

"This is a means by which we can share our stories, our knowledge, the accumulated wisdom of more than a thousand generations," she says.

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"We have a very deep well to draw from."

Ms Cheetham says she believes the sharing of stories through art will ultimately foster better understanding between cultures. 

'The arts are a way of strengthening our own identity.'

"Our stories can be told through music, they can be told through film, dance – you name it, and it’s a powerful way to connect with the broader Australian public," she says.

"For Australians more generally, the arts are a way of strengthening our own identity, of understanding who we are as we live on this continent of many nations."

Last year, the soprano famously turned down an offer to sing Advance Australia Fair at the AFL grand final, claiming the anthem was not representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Four months later, she says she stands by her decision.

"I just think we can do better," Ms Cheetham says.

"There have already been changes to the anthem... I think that we can make it more inclusive."