Trigger Warning: This article contains references to suicide and sexual assault which may be distressing to some readers.
Following the announcement that newcomer Jimmy Nicholson is the new Bachelor, it has been announced that the new Bachelorette Australia for 2021 is Bachelor alum, Brooke Blurton.
“I am so ready for this. I’ve done it twice before and now, having the opportunity to choose my person and who I want in my life, is a truly unique and special experience,” she said in a statement after the announcement. “My perfect person is someone that loves me for me. I hope they offer shared values and compassion for others. All the dreamy things! I’m so excited and hope that I finally find that person I’ve been waiting for.”
While we already know Blurton from her time on Nick “Honeybadger” Cummins’ season of the hit franchise, this particular season will be history in the making, as Blurton is the first bisexual and the first Indigenous Australian to take up the role.
A a proud Noongar-Yamatji woman, Blurton’s mother was Indigenous and Malaysian and her father was English.
During a TEDx talk in 2019, Blurton revealed that she never felt a sense of “belonging”.
“I was bullied and I was teased quite a bit, but the thing was they made me feel different,” she said. “Different in a way that I was fairer than some of the Aboriginal kids and they would call me a half cast meaning that I simply wasn’t Aboriginal enough for them. We were poor, so we could only afford secondhand clothes, meaning the [other] kids were also reluctant to be my friend.”
She continued: “I remember being very confused at the time, thinking if I wasn’t Aboriginal enough and I wasn’t white enough where did I fit in this world? Where did I belong?”
Blurton first rose to fame on Nick “the Honeybadger” Cummin’s season in 2018 before heading to Fiji and making history with Alex Nation as the first two women to kiss on a reality series in Australia.
While she does not identify as lesbian or bisexual, instead the youth worker is attracted to a person regardless of their gender.
Rumours circulated back in early 2020 that Blurton had indeed been offered the role, however, at the time, she didn’t think Australia was ready for a pansexual Bachelorette.
“I’m a little bit different in the sense that I date both sexes and whether Channel 10 and Warner Brothers would be up to a bi Bachelorette [is the question],” she told The Babble podcast.
“I don’t know what they would think that looks like or if Australia would be ready for that”.
Blurton, who is one of nine siblings, detailed her “tough” upbringing during the same TEDx talk, revealing that she was just 11 when her mother ended her own life. Then, after her mother’s funeral, she was sexually assaulted.
“I don’t remember how I processed that information or how I was feeling at that time, but what I do remember is I found a phone book and a house phone and I looked up my dad’s name, I found a number and dialled. My stepmother answered, and I didn’t tell her what had happened, I just said ‘Could you come get me?’.
“Twenty-four hours later my dad drove from Perth to Carnarvon and picked me up and took me. I left in the middle of the night that night and I didn’t say goodbye to my brothers, I pretty much left my home. I felt like I’d lost everything at that moment. I’d lost my sense of belonging, my family, my mum and also my connection to my Aboriginality. This was when I had first ever thought of suicide.”
For two years, Blurton practically became mute.
“I couldn’t communicate with words and I found it really difficult to use my voice. But one thing I was very vocal about was my love for sport and sport became an outlet for me.”
As we first learned on Cummins’ season, Blurton is an AFLW player who also plays Rugby League.
Currently, she has over 200k followers on Instagram and works with at-risk Aboriginal youth.
“How do we turn a blind eye to that and how do we help more young people?” she asked during her talk. “It starts with restoring their identity”.
“It starts with helping them gain strength and resilience in where they belong… because once upon a time I was told I wouldn’t make it and I could’ve been one of those statistics.
“I am powerful and my story’s powerful. I’m resilient and I’m worthy. I have a voice and I want young people to find theirs.”
“I’m an influencer every day, but as a youth worker. I positively influence young people’s lives,” she said during her talk.
This casting news is a positive shift in diversity on Australian screens — a topic that has received widespread attention after an inquiry into media diversity brought commercial networks under fire.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line on 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or head to The Australian Human Rights Commission for a list of state by state resources.