Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir

Deborah Cheetham AO


Deborah Cheetham AO is an Indigenous Australian soprano, actor, composer and playwright. Deborah graduated from the NSW Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree.

In 1997 Deborah wrote the autobiographical play White Baptist Abba Fan which tells of her experiences of coming to terms with her homosexuality and racial identity while trying to reunite with her Indigenous family. White Baptist Abba Fan has toured internationally.

As a soprano, Deborah has performed in France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.She sang at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

In October 2010, Deborah opera Pecan Summer, based on the 1939 Cummeragunja walk-off, opened in Mooroopna, Mooroopna. She wrote, composed and performed in the production by the Short Black Opera Company.

In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”.

< back

Stay up to date!