Deborah was a Senior Artist with Bangarra Dance Theatre, joining the company in 2003.
She is a descendant of Wakaid Clan, Badu Island, the Meriam people of Murray Island, and is also proud of her Scottish heritage. Born in Brisbane, her totems are Beizam (the shark) and the moth.
In 2013, she made her choreographic and directorial debut, creating a short dance film titled dive paying homage to the Pearl Shell divers of the Torres Straits for Bangarra’s season of Dance Clan 3, leading her to create IBIS as part of the lore national season in 2015.
lore was then nominated for a Helpmann the following year for Best New Australian Work. Her career highlights with Bangarra were returning to Country – including Mer Island and Yirrkala – performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theatre and partnering with The Australian Ballet at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Deborah has explored independent work as a choreographer and actor. As a successful recipient of Creative Australia funding through The Australia Council in 2015, Deborah directed and choreographed local talent in a short film, hide, in association with Campbelltown Arts Centre.
In 2017, she returned to acting as the lead Layla, in the short film Water, directed by John Harvey. 2018 she has choreographed and assisted the new Australian production, Spinifex Gum, including their pre-game performance at Dreamtime at the G for the Australian Football League and was also assistant director and choreographer for the world premiere of The Long Forgotten Dream for Sydney Theatre Company.
In 2013 Deborah won the Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production for Terrain after previously being nominated under the same category in 2010. She is currently completing her Masters in Screen Directing at Sydney’s AFTRS.