Content warning: This article contains reference to suicide. Please refer to the services at the bottom of this article for support.
Noongar/Yamatji woman Brooke Blurton first graced Australian screens in 2018, appearing on The Bachelor.
Now, three years on, Blurton will have her chance to find love as the 2021 Bachelorette.
The 26-year-old youth social worker first appeared on the Network 10 franchise in rugby union star Nick Cummins’ season of The Bachelor.
It wasn’t long before Blurton captured hearts across the nation.
In 2019 she appeared in Bachelor in Paradise and now takes centre stage in The Bachelorette. Blurton will be the nation’s first Indigenous and bisexual Bachelorette.
Despite spending most of her life in Perth, and now calling Melbourne home, Blurton is a Carnarvon girl at heart.
“Growing up in Carnarvon, it’s a country town with not a lot of things to do, so I was really heavily involved in sport. That kept me busy,” she told the National Indigenous Times.
“Growing up, my family, we did struggle with stability and financially. My mum tried to do the best she could with what she had for all of us kids.
“I am one of five.”
At the age of 11, Blurton lost her mother to suicide. Her Nan died in the same year.
“All of us kids had to grow up quickly and become independent very quickly,” she said.
“It taught me to be really grateful and appreciative for what I do have. I never really take that for granted now as an adult.”
Blurton often returns home to her Country and community.
“I always revert back to Country, I set time aside in my year to go back to Country and give back to community, whether that is through volunteering or just going to events and being with mob,” she said.
“It is really grounding for me. Having lost so many people in my life, I do surround myself with as many people and family in WA when I can.”
Blurton told the National Indigenous Times she applied for The Bachelor at just 23 years-of -age.
“I was with my housemate doing my application, and she’s a Zambian girl . . . we were talking about how they don’t really have much diversity on the show,” she said.
“And I remember being like, they never have Blackfellas on there.”
Blurton said that despite it being a “bit of a laugh at the start”, when Network 10 called, it was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down.
“I didn’t have the slightest idea that I would be accepted or on the show. When they called me, I was so surprised, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” she said.
“Always in the back of mind was this knowing that this could be really powerful for the young girls who haven’t seen that representation before.”
“You see this growing representation on reality TV now. There’s this feeling of pride that comes with just seeing mob on TV.
“It’s that familiarity, it makes me so proud.”
Blurton said being the first Aboriginal and bisexual Bachelorette didn’t “feel any different” from just being her.
“I’ve always been a very proud Noongar/Yamatji woman, but I think sexuality is something that also comes to the forefront when I introduce myself,” she said.
“I work in the LGBTQIA+ community, so I find myself really speaking openly about sexuality and what it means to me.
“Obviously historically, it hasn’t always been shown in the most positive light in mainstream TV and in normal society.
“But I want to open doors and shine a light for the young people and generations coming forward.”
Blurton said she wanted young people to “feel comfortable, and know safe spaces are there for them, too.”
“I want them to step into their sexuality and own it, and to feel comfortable in it,” she said.
“Doing social work, I’ve worked in community and one of the largest statistics is that LGBTQIA+ communities suffer from mental health problems and suicide.
“I think that is a sad statistic and it’s my motivation to be a part of reducing that. Even if it just means talking about it and starting conversations.”
Standing very strongly in who she is, Blurton reflected on moments in her life when she was “made to feel different” because of her sexuality.
“It took a lot of courage when I was younger to really step into myself,” she said.
“I have realised in the last few years the importance of not worrying what people are going to think, more so what you think about yourself.”
Although small, Blurton is mighty.
“I’ve learnt that I’ve got a massive voice and I shouldn’t be afraid to use it, or I shouldn’t be made to feel like I should be quiet,” she said.
“I’ve got a voice, whether that be about community or mental health, and I feel like I have a powerful voice within myself.
“What comes with that, I think, has been learning that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.
“You can’t resolve things in one day, so I’ve had to learn a lot of self-compassion.”
Blurton’s debut as the Bachelorette airs October 20.
By Rachael Knowles
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