Trigger Warning: This article contains references to suicide and sexual assault which may be distressing to some readers.
With newcomer pilot Jimmy Nicholson at the helm of The Bachelor, it’s high time that we learned who would be handing out roses on The Bachelorette Australia 2021.
Thankfully, we haven’t had to wait too long with the announcement that former The Bachelor and Bachelor In Paradise star, Brooke Blurton, will be Elly and Becky Miles’ successor for 2021.
How We Know Her
Blurton first rose to fame on Nick “the Honeybadger” Cummin’s season in 2018 before heading to Fiji where she and Alex Nation shared a kiss on screen — the first kiss between two women on a reality series in Australia.
“That part with Alex, I just think she never really was genuine with her feelings and I could really read through that,” Brooke told WHO.com.au during an interview in 2019. “I just don’t really value people in my life like that. There’s no bad blood, but I am all about people who bring value into your life and I just feel like I had to let that part of my life with Alex go.”
What Is Her Heritage?
Blurton is a proud Noongar-Yamatji woman, whose mother was Indigenous and Malaysian and her father, 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 a 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?”
Her Family Life
During the same TEDx talk, she detailed her “tough” upbringing.
One of nine siblings (six brothers and two sisters), Blurton 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 struggled to use her voice.
“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.”
She Is an Avid Sports Player
The AFLW player is also plays Rugby League and her love of footy is what kept her in school.
She 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.
She Will Be the First Bi-Sexual Bachelorette
Blurton is attracted to a person regardless of their gender and said said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph:
“If it makes people feel uncomfortable in any way, I really challenge them to think about why it does,” she said.
“Times are more progressive and sexuality and gender expression are just so fluid these days. I am not too sure if Australia is ready for it. I hope they are. I certainly am.”
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 it.
“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”.
Well, we’re certainly ready for you now, Brooke!
Why Is this Casting So Important?
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.
At the time of publication, applications are still open for contestants so head to Warner Bros. casting here and you can follow Brooke on Instagram here.
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.