LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.
LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Stories Troy Cassar-Daley carries around

COUNTRY star Troy Cassar-Daley feels at home on the Northern Rivers, and he does not hide it.

Cassar-Daley was born in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills to a Maltese-Australian father and an Aboriginal mother, but after growing up in Grafton with his family he was always visiting the Northern Rivers.

"The Lismore, Casino, Byron Bay and Ballina areas were all very homely to me, so I never felt out of place living over there," he said.

Cassar-Daley finished a course on music production in Lismore in 1988 and went back to Grafton, and then in 1990 he was invited to travel for eight months with an outback touring promoter called Bryan Young.

"I was 20 years of age and that was the biggest eye-opener I've ever had because I had never been to remote Aboriginal communities," he said.

"The scenery, the people and the spirit out there were amazing for me as an indigenous Australian. As a Bundjalung person, it was an eye-opener to walk into the local shop in some of the communities and see kangaroo tails for sale in the freezer."

Stories like this are part of Things I Carry Around, the title of Cassar-Daley's memoir and also his award-wining album, which was inspired by the writing of the book.

  • At Ballina RSL Club, 240 River St, Ballina, on Sunday, May 28, from 3.45pm. $40. For details visit ballinarsl.com.au.