Country music singer Troy Cassar-Daley will delve into his family history in the 2020 season of Who Do You Think You Are? Supplied by SBS.
Country music singer Troy Cassar-Daley will delve into his family history in the 2020 season of Who Do You Think You Are? Supplied by SBS.

Who does Troy Cassar-Daley think he is?

WE know Troy Cassar-Daley is a proud Gumbaynggirr man from the Clarence Valley but what we don't know much about is the other side of his family from Malta. And neither did Troy to some degree until he agreed to appear on SBS's popular program Who Do You Think You Are?

The country music star said the show's producers had come knocking "for a few years in a row" but due to work commitments it was near impossible for him to find the three weeks straight required to participate in the program.

"But I'm glad I finally did it and got to experience what we did. I feel really privileged being a part of it."

Troy's episode will the finale of the new series which kicked off last week with Lisa Wilkinson and over the course of the new few weeks features many well known faces each Tuesday night including Bert Newton and Julie Bishop.

Troy said the whole thing was a "bit of an eye opener", an experience he will never forget.

"It was pretty full on. They gave me the rundown as to what the shoot days would like. It looked really hectic. I thought, wow, what have I signed up for."

He said he found that out pretty quickly once they starting filming.

"There was no script and the secretive nature annoyed me at first. I might be a bit of a control freak. I sort of like to know where I'm going and who I'm going to be talking too. But they said no, because it took the element of surprise away and I'm supposed to look surprised. I had to trust them but it took me four days to get to that point."

Troy said the journey was incredible. "They just told me what plane to be on and I had to be on it the next day."

The journey took to not only Malta for the first time but also around Australia including a region where a new discovery about his indigenous ancestry was made.

"I won't give too much away but we'd heard there was this big jump through my nan's family line that came from down south and they were able to trace that right back to the First Fleet arrival and explain what had happened. I never thought in a million years they could do that. I was able to fill in a few gaps for my mum which was incredible."

Troy said they also tracked his 'Nan Cassar' on his dad's side. "That matrimonial line went back to 1440. That's how good the Catholics are at keeping records," he laughed.

Troy said he had a particularly emotional time in Malta as the filming began about three or four months after his dad Tony had passed away, but thanks to the show's crew he was able to handle it.

"They made me feel really comfortable. Lot of the stuff with dad, it was still pretty raw at the time so if you were in a moment where you had to get yourself together I'd just say to them I need a minute to have a little bawl and then I can get on with it."

Troy said the experience of getting to know his family history more intimately had left him feeling really proud of his heritage on both sides.

"My Maltese Nan was five foot high, had given birth to 21 children and came out to Australia where she lived until she was 80. That was a story in itself.

"On my indigenous side you get all these beautiful, powerful women, from down the south coast who moved the whole family away for different reasons. It's all covered in the show."

Troy said he never thought his family story would be exciting enough to make a TV show about it.

"I love my family but I didn't think there was anything to it, but the producers said with what I'm made up of, straight away it said story to them."

So much so one of the show's long-time crew who was leaving said that Troy's episode "was possibly the most powerful one they had worked on".

"After hearing that it made me feel like it wasn't a waste of two and a half weeks. I can't wait for everyone at home in the Clarence to see it. "

Who Do You Think You Are? screens Tuesdays on SBS at 8.30pm. The Troy Cassar-Daley episode goes to air on July 7.


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