Australian Idol 2024: Drea Onamade champions her culture and strives for change in the industry

‘I didn’t fit in.'
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From a young age, Australian Idol’s Drea Onamade didn’t recognise anyone who looked like her on TV.  Now that she’s older, she wants to fill that void for children struggling with the same issue.

“As a child, it was hard to find where I fitted in,” Drea, 25, tells TV WEEK. “There are so many girls and boys from ethnic backgrounds who could believe in themselves earlier than I did, but they’re scared to take the first step.

australian idol 2024 drea
Could Drea be the next Australian Idol?
(Image: Supplied)

“They’re hidden, because they don’t see anyone else like them [performing on TV] and they’re scared there’s no support from other communities.

“It would be incredible to inspire that fire, determination and drive in a child.” 

The Idol contestant from Perth is of Nigerian and Jamaican descent, and while she says she hasn’t suffered any “overt racism” since moving to Australia, she still sometimes feels different because that’s “just the way it is”. 

australian idol 2024 drea
“As a child, it was hard to find where I fitted in.”
(Image: Supplied)

“Australia has been great for me,” she says. “It provided so many opportunities, I can’t even begin to describe, but there’s always that added stress of, ‘I look different, I sound different – what if people don’t understand me?’ But that’s OK – it’s part of my journey and it makes me who I am as an artist.” 

With sheer tenacity and driven by her desire to create positive change in the world, and the grand final just weeks away, could Drea become the next Australian Idol

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