After years of “dimming her light” to fit in with others, Coriakula decided that it was high time to be exactly who she was — and that included her time on the show.
“I said to my mum, I promise I won’t swear and I’ll be polite, ” the 25-year-old said in an interview with TheLatch—.
“Of course I did the complete opposite. I told my grandma, ‘Gran, this comes with a trigger warning’ and she said, ‘Honey, there is no such thing as a trigger warning with you. You are exactly who you are and I don’t expect anything less,'” she said before adding:
“My dad just shook his said and said, ‘good luck, you’re too much for the show.'”
During her time in the house, the dance teacher ruffled a few feathers when it came to household chores — even taking over the baking of the bread from 62-year-old, Marissa Rancan, but Coriakula says don’t believe everything you see.
“It was taken so out of context because me and Marissa, we were the only two that were friends. Honestly, she was the only one that I liked and I felt that we had a silent bond to look out for one another.”
Coriakula said that she’s always had trouble fitting into society’s mold. Born to stand out, the Fijian-Australian has always felt different and has a firm belief that we shouldn’t be applauding when a TV show highlights cultural diversity.
“It’s hard, I kind of go back and forth with this because I feel like it shouldn’t even be a thing having coloured people in an environment because that is exposing the white privilege that exists or the media showing that a white person is a default,” she said.
Anita Lyons: Hi Laura, I’m so sorry you were the first to leave the house. Out of 53,000 people chosen and then you only made it three days! But, I have to applaud you because you seemed like you were being authentic to yourself.
Laura Coriakula: I grew up performing, and you really start to learn how to censor yourself. I censored myself a lot to the point that I lost myself. My personality wasn’t there which meant I was really dimming down my spark. You get old and tired of shit and you think, well, it’s my life and I have to just get on with it and at the end of the day, why am I silencing myself for other people.
Then my spark lit up again.
AL: You’ve obviously got an incredible personality! So, why did you apply and why did you think you’d be a good housemate?
LC: I just applied and really didn’t think anything of it. I think one thing I learned from being in the performing arts industry is that you just take every opportunity whether you can win or not.
So, for me, I thought — ‘do I really want to do reality TV?’ and then I thought, I’m just going to put myself out there and whatever happens, happens.
Once I got through all the stages, I just decided to roll with it. Through your experiences, you learn so much about who you are as a person and I love being on-show, so it was just one step closer to being a performer and an artist.
AL: Why do you think you were the first to be kicked out? Do you have any regrets?
LC: I think when I came second in the challenge I had a really big obvious target on my back. But really, everyone was just really “clicky”. I can tell you right now, there were three of us that were not willing to join in with that.
I’m not a clicky person. I either like you or I don’t. I will connect to people individually, and I will sit together in a group but I’m not the type of person to just have four friends and we’re going to live like that. That’s not me at all and it never has been.
AL: So, you said that you and Marissa were actually close, so I’m curious as Kieran came in pretty hot with the tactics, is that accurate?
LC: As soon as he greeted me, you knew he was on a mission.
AL: Well, he kind of was on a mission…
LC: You could tell straight away he was already playing the game. Big Brother put him in the house first for a reason. He came in and I already knew what to expect.
AL: In saying all of this, who do you think will win?
LC: Whoever wins will win by coincidence, I can tell you that much. I’m not going to say they don’t deserve it but it’s all about coincidences and luck in that house.
I really want Marissa to win because she just deserves it.
“It’s all about coincidences and luck in that house.”
AL: Just moving away from Big Brother for a moment. You used to live in the US, how does it feel watching what is going on over there and in Australia with the Black Lives Matter movement?
LC: When you grow up as a coloured person or just anyone with a racial background, it’s a part of who you are. For me, it’s no different [what’s happening in the US] to the genocide that took place on this land.
It’s no different from all the indigenous people of the land who have been murdered and slaughtered due to colonisation. We’re just seeing people getting murdered by authorities and police. It’s the same deal of the fact that the system was built on white supremacy and still exists everywhere.
For me, this is nothing new. It’s been going on for many years. With social media now, people have a voice and we are now able to prove what’s really going on. The police cannot control what is being posted.
There’s just so much more space now for people to pay attention to this big issue that’s been going on for a very long time.
AL: And you chose to march and protest the Black Lives Matter movement on June 6.
LC: Yes. Because that could have been me being killed by a police officer and it’s not about my voice being heard. It’s about everybody understanding that when you band together and unite against the system, that is the only way to see tangible change.
It’s one thing to post a black tile and to be a hashtag activist, but as we gather together and you see that energy for yourself, you send a message right to the top.
Once you start allowing yourself to be free in your mind, that’s when you would truly be free from power.
“It’s one thing to post a black tile and to be a hashtag activist, but as we gather together and you see that energy for yourself, you send a message right to the top.”
AL: How important is showing diversity on TV to you?
LC: It’s hard, I kind of go back and forth with this because I feel like it shouldn’t even be a thing having coloured people in an environment because that is exposing the white privilege that exists or the media showing that a white person is a default. So, when we start saying, ‘oh wow, there’s finally four coloured people’, you’re making a big deal out of something that should be considered normal.
Big Brother Australia continues Monday-Wednesday only on Channel 7.