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How Brooke Blurton’s tragic childhood changed her for the better

The Bachelorette is stronger than ever.
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Trigger warning: This article features details of addiction, sexual assault and suicide that may be triggering for some readers.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains images of people who have died.

She’s a proud Noongar-Yamatji woman who is our Bachelorette for 2021, but Brooke Blurton is also a strong woman who has faced a difficult upbringing.

WATCH BELOW: Brooke Blurton on her family and life

The 26-year-old has previously spoken about her tragic childhood in previous interviews, including losing members of her family at a very young age, and how it all inspired her to do more work within the Aboriginal community.

“My biggest passion in life is mental health, from working and growing up with a lot of drug and alcohol violence in my childhood really,” she told SBS’ Noongar Dandjoo.

“I grew up in a country town in Carnarvon. I spent my childhood there up until I was about 11, when my mum, unfortunately, passed away—she committed suicide,” Brooke said.

bachelorette brooke blurton
Brooke is the Bachelorette for 2021. (Credit: Instagram)

Before her mum took her own life, Brooke, who was one of five kids, watched her struggle with a drug addiction, which she explained it to be “quite volatile”.

“Some times I remember getting really good and some times I remember getting really bad. It had gotten so bad that we were once removed from school and put straight into a foster home without her knowledge,” she said.

Brooke also revealed that she felt she didn’t have “stability that was normal”, and she was surrounded by things that kids “shouldn’t be exposed to” at such a young age.

“I figured out that the way that I lived wasn’t exactly normal when my brothers and I went into foster care. We were treated well in care and that became the comparison that helped me to develop expectations,” she told NW.

“That doesn’t go to say that my family didn’t love me, I did have a loving family but my mum just struggled to provide us with what we needed. There were socio-economic environmental factors that affected us.”
bachelorette brooke blurton family
Brooke was just 11 when she lost her mother to suicide. (Credit: Instagram)

In her TED Talk, How Do You Introduce Yourself?, Brooke also opened up about how at her mother’s funeral, she was sexually abused while she was sleeping.

“I don’t remember how I processed that information or how I was feeling in 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 and I found a number and dialled,” she said.

Brooke eventually went to go live with her father, which she described as “complicated”, as she spent more time under the care of her step mum while her father was away at work.

bachelorette brooke blurton
“Growing up was pretty complicated.” (Credit: Instagram)

She was later kicked out of home at the age of 15, and was taken in by a teacher – but not before she struggled with her self worth.

“I’d had to take care of myself and I remember the same feelings I had at 11 came rushing back when I was 15 – ‘Why won’t I be loved? Why will I never be good enough? And why do I honestly keep bouncing from home to home?'”

Despite everything she faced growing up, Brooke found the strength to overcome it all and become a role model for her community.

“All my brothers and [me], we didn’t really have a lot of strong role models so creating that myself was my inspiration,” she said.

brooke blurton work
Brooke is a youth worker and hopes to help others in similar situations as herself. (Credit: Instagram)

Taking on the role as a youth worker, Brooke helps run programs for young people, and expressed how much she loved her job to NW.

“Growing up I always wanted to give back to my community in any way I could. Whether that was teaching or working in health service,” she said.

She added that she didn’t really want the life that she had, so she focused on “whatever I needed to do” in order to have a better life and to help young people in a similar situation.

“I discovered what I’m passionate about quite young, and it’s only going to get better for me down the line because I love every single thing we do.”

Sadly, Brooke was struck by another family tragedy in early August this year, when she received the news her sister Kye had died.

“I do like to think I live a very private life but I kinda felt like I wanted to share with you where I’m at,” she shared on Instagram.

“On the 11/8 I had just received news that my sister passed away. I’ve been trying to process that on my own being stuck in a Sydney lockdown without my family, off-country and by myself.

“I’ve thankfully had huge support from production and friends working tirelessly to get me back into WA.”

Two days after her sister passed away, Brooke was granted a G2G pass to travel to Western Australia so she could mourn with her family and attend her sister’s funeral amid the state’s strict border closures.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

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