The Promised Land (Development)

Photo AIATSIS film still, ABC

The Promised Land  (Development)  

Commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre The Promised Land is a work in development by the Donovan Family led by acclaimed Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter, Emma Donovan.

Emma Donovan, is the eldest granddaughter of Micko and Aileen Donovan, who were local Country Music royalty in the northern NSW country town of #Macksville.

The Donovan’s are a well-known family in Aboriginal music, starting with Emma’s grandparents Mick and Aileen Donovan, both of whom were raised on missions in Northern NSW.

Micko grew up and lived on Bowraville Mission of NSW mid north coast, Aileen was from over the next town of Kempsey on Burnt Bridge Mission. Aileen became musically connected with Micko and the duet quickly became the harmonious vocals of the mid north coast.

Since January 2020, Emma and her creative team have embarked on a residency series at Campbelltown Arts Centre to develop a musical performance that reflects on the musical legacy of Micko and Aileen Donovan and treasured family archives to tell the family’s story.

Creative Team
Emma Donovan
Mervyn Donovan
Hilton Donovan
Michael Donovan
Leon Donovan
Ashley Donovan
Shalina Donovan
Jaleesa Godson
Max Donovan
Elaine Crombie – Dramaturg
Brendan Blacklock – Videographer
Fausto Brusamolino – Video and Lighting Designer
Annika Unsen – Sound Designer


This project has received funding through the Australia Council for the Arts.

Before the COVID-19 lockdown this year our family started Developing our family show, The Promised Land, it’s full of memories and songs in memory of our Grandparents Micko and Aileen Donovan, to share with you here is a snippet of our first time together at Campbelltown Arts Centre and having a sing, enjoy this old classic “Linda Darling” with more videos to come soon, watch our space.

Yours in Country Music, The Donovan family

Hello Family & Friends,

Back again with our second video during our first very week of Developing The Promised Land. Our family had many songs for every occasion, this was our Nan’s request during Birthday parties. We hope you enjoy this old country classic and our Donovan family version of ‘Happy Birthday to Me’. Keep an eye out for our other videos filmed at Campbelltown Arts Centre.

Yours in Country Music, The Donovan family

Hey you mob,

Hope you been all watching our exciting time at Campbelltown Arts Centre. This year The Donovan Family started our development for our Story and songs, here is a tune you should know well. We have been lucky enough to have actress Elaine Crombie working with us on The Promised Land as the show’s Director and Dramaturge. Make sure you listen out for her here having a sing with us towards the end of this video. The Family is well known to having a sing along. Enjoy our new video and keep watching.

Yours in Country Music,

The Donovan family 

Hello our Family & Friends,

We really hope you have been enjoying all The Promised Land development videos and getting an idea of what we have been producing for you at Campbelltown Arts Centre. It has been a healing time for us revisiting our family songs written by our Grandfather/Dad Micko Donovan , here’s one of his originals ‘Can’t Get you out of our Mind’.
Feel free to share our videos, we hope to bring a part of the Mid North Coast to you.

Yours in Country Music,
The Donovan family

Hey Everyone,

It has been proud times sharing with you all a preview of what’s to come out of our development and time here at Campbelltown Arts Centre. We want to say thanks for liking and sharing our videos, we hope it’s connected you all back to our Family especially the late Micko & Alieen Donovan.

We hope you can join us soon for one of our performances. Keep an eye out for important dates to come for our presentation.

Thanks again from The Promised Land and The Donovan Family 



Follow developments of The Promised Land on Facebook and Instagram.