Shari Sebbens

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Shari Sebbens
Born1985 (age 28–29)
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Years active2010–present
RelativesJimmy Chi (uncle)
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Shari Sebbens
Born1985 (age 28–29)
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Years active2010–present
RelativesJimmy Chi (uncle)

Shari Sebbens is an Australian actress, most famous for her debut film role in The Sapphires. She has also appeared in Redfern Now.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Sebbens, one of six children, was born and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory.[2] Her father is a former long-distance coach driver from Sydney, New South Wales, of English descent, and her mother, Annarella,[3] an indigenous education worker from Broome, Western Australia, is of Jabirr Jabirr and Bardi heritage.[2][4] She is the niece of Australian music composer and playwright Jimmy Chi, and cousin of writer and film director Mitch Torres.[2] As a child, Sebbens wanted to become a palaeontologist or an astronaut, but at the age of thirteen she saw indigenous actress Deborah Mailman in the film Radiance (1998), and was inspired to pursue acting.[2] Sebbens graduated from Darwin High School in 2001,[5] and four years later, at age nineteen, was chosen to participate in "SPARK", a theatre mentorship programme established by the Australia Council for the Arts.[6] At age twenty, she was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), where she completed a one year course in Aboriginal Theatre. Upon completing her studies at WAAPA, Sebbens successfully auditioned for a place at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), studying acting full-time for three years.[7]


Early work and breakthrough: 2010-present[edit]

Sebbens played Anna in a short film called Violet, and she starred in the Australian play A Hoax, receiving a nomination for "Best Newcomer" at the Sydney Theatre Awards.[8] By May 2012, Sebbens landed a role in Redfern Now, a television series about "six inner city households whose lives are changed by a seemingly insignificant incident."[9] She received the Logie Award for Most Outstanding New Talent at the Logie Awards of 2013 for her role in the show.[10]

Sebbens secured a role in The Sapphires (2012), a film based on the stage show of the same name. It was directed by Wayne Blair and also starred Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, and Miranda Tapsell. Sebbens played the role of Kay McCrae, one of four Indigenous Australian singers "who travel from a mission in Victoria to Vietnam to sing for American troops".[7][11][12] The cast attended the film's premiere at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on 20 May 2012.[11]


2010VioletAnnaShort film
2012The SapphiresKay McCrae
2012–presentRedfern NowJulieLogie Award for Most Outstanding New Talent
Equity Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2014The Gods of Wheat StreetIsolde FreeburnMini series

Theatre appearances[edit]

2012A Hoax[13]Griffin Theatre, SydneyMiri Smith/CurrahNominated – Sydney Theatre Award for Best Newcomer


  1. ^ Quinn, Karl (13 November 2012). "Redfern Now back for second series". 
  2. ^ a b c d Blake, Elissa (15 July 2012). "Dream time to act out". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Palin, Megan (9 April 2013). "Logie double in top night for Top End". Northern Territory News (News Limited). Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Moran, Jonathan (26 August 2012). "Shari Sebbens shines with best of both worlds". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times (News Corporation)). Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "NamesDatabase: Shari Sebbens". Names Database. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Characters - Refern Now: Julie". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "The Sapphires Press Kit: About Shari Sebbens". Australia at Cannes 2012 (Screen Australia). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  8. ^ King, Darryn (12 December 2012). "Sydney Theatre Awards 2012 nominations". Time Out Sydney (Time Out Group Ltd.). Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Knox, David (28 May 2012). "Cameras Roll on Redfern Now". TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Cartwright, Darren (7 April 2013). "Sebbens hopes Logie opens more doors". The Australian (News Limited (News Corporation)). Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Hohenboken, Angus (21 May 2012). "The Sapphires starring Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman is a gem, insist Cannes critics". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Moran, Jonathon (19 June 2011). "Mauboy's new tilt at movies". Northern Territory News (News Limited). Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Blake, Jason (30 June 2012). "Depths of deception create publishing sensation". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

External links[edit]