Deborah Mailman (born 14 July 1972) is an Australian television and film actress. She was the first Aboriginal actress to win the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She is well known for having played the character "Kelly" on successful Australian television series, The Secret Life of Us. She is also well known for her current role as Cherie in the successful Australian drama series Offspring.
Mailman grew up in Mount Isa in north-west Queensland. She is one of five children born to Wally Mailman, a famous rodeo rider and horseman, and Jane (Heeni) Mailman, the daughter of a preacher and talented musician. She has both Indigenous Australian (Bidjara) and Māori (Ngati Porou and Te Arawa) heritage. In 1992, she graduated from Queensland University of Technology Academy of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Performing Arts. Since then she has worked extensively in Australian film, television and theater as well as many contributions overseas. She played the role of Kate in a La Boite Theatre production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in 1994.
In 1998, Mailman made her film debut as Nona in the Australian independent film Radiance, for which she won the AFI Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. From here she has since become one of Australia's most prominent local actors especially through her lead role on The Secret Life of Us, a role for which she was twice awarded Most Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series at the Logies (2002 and 2004). She stayed during the shows entire duration (2001–2006)...
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