On the Couch with Roxanne McDonald

Roxanne-McDonald-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Roxanne McDonald?
I am a proud Aboriginal Woman who is descended from 3 tribal groups in Queensland. Mandandanji – Roma, Wangan – Clermont & Darambal – Rockhampton. I also have Scottish Heritage on both my Mum & Dad’s side – Dad’s side was from Renfrewshire in Edinburgh, and we’re not sure about Mum’s, but we know the Scottish ‘Landers’ family migrated to Canada and Australia. I’m part of a big family (7 of us) and I’ve got heaps of extended family. Growing up we were very close to a lot of my relatives.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would probably work in social services. When I was young, I wanted to be a nurse – I suppose caring and helping people is in my nature, so that would be something I would do if I wasn’t working in the arts.

Who inspires you and why?
I draw inspiration from my family members and, even though they aren’t here with us, I honour their strength, endurance, and sheer determination – sometimes against some difficult challenges as Aboriginal people in this country.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe it all starts with one person. See a need and do whatever you can to be that difference. I think we should treat each other by lifting one another up… family, friends, and people we don’t know – just be kind and compassionate towards each other, it doesn’t cost anything.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Stradbroke Island. It’s just over the bay, 40 minutes to Cleveland. I have relatives who live there. I get my cultural Straddie fix and it’s where my Mum’s family was sent during the mission days; she was born from the island. It always feels like paradise and home to me, my worries always float away once we step onto the barge or water taxi and see our mob and the natural beauty the Island has to offer.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to and why?
Straddie of course.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading my good friend Louise Limerick’s novel Dying For Cake.

What are you currently listening to?
General news and current affairs. I think most of the country is listening to the reports about COVID 19, myself included.

Happiness is?
Whatever you make it to be.

What does the future hold for you?
Good health, love of family and friends and hopefully more work in the arts, plus meeting new and interesting people.

Roxanne will be performing at Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre for the recreation of Australia’s most-love play, Away from 29 October to 13 November 2021. For more information, visit: www.laboite.com.au for details.

Image: Roxanne McDonald (supplied)