The Daily Telegraph (Aus) – November 16th 2006

Isabel is at home in Africa

FROM soap star to charity aid worker — former Home and Away actress Isabel Lucas has cast off her showbiz image in order to take on her most notable role yet.

Having just returned from a backpacking trip around Western Europe, the diminutive TV star was a surprise guest at the premiere of Philip Noyce’s latest film Catch A Fire this week.

Sporting newly darkened locks, the former Channel 7 starlet revealed she will put her acting career on hold to work with disadvantaged communities in Namibia for two months.

Lucas will swap Sydney’s beaches for the African wilderness when she embarks on an aid project with company OzQuest in a week.

“It’s a completely personal thing — it’s just part of my life journey and experience,” Lucas told Confidential.

“It’s not a publicity move, it’s just something I feel will help me to appreciate how lucky I am in my life.”

Lucas and U2 frontman Bono — one of Africa’s most devout campaigners — were both personally invited by Noyce to attend the premiere of his political thriller — which tells the story of one man’s struggle living in the racially divided South Africa of the 1980s.

Speaking to the rock star activist at the film’s after party was “inspirational”, Lucas said.

“Meeting someone like Bono, who obviously does so much positive work to better the situation in Africa, was incredibly inspiring for me.

“To have that encounter on the eve of this trip was amazing.”