The 23-year-old Western Australia youth worker is the first contestant with indigenous heritage on the show, and she’s recently shared how her traumatic past fuels her motivation for bringing awareness to mental health and indigenous issues.
We unpack the best moments from the Honey Badger’s first week on our Bach Chat podcast. Post continues after audio.
In an interview with OK! Magazine, Brooke gave fans an insight into her difficult childhood.
“I don’t have a lot of family, unfortunately,” she said.
“Mum and Nan dying when I was younger and having to grow up without any parents (was the hardest thing).”
Brooke spoke more of her heartbreaking early experiences with Noongar Dandjoo, an indigenous community TV program.
“I grew up in a country town in Carnarvon. I spent my childhood there up until I was about 11. My mum unfortunately passed away. She committed suicide. That was a pretty hard time,” she said.
“My nan actually passed away a month later so us kids had to separate. All my brothers and [me], we didn’t really have a lot of strong role models so creating that myself was my inspiration.”
Despite this, Brooke hasn’t let this define her and lists mental health as one of her biggest passions, and said it’s something she’s overcome herself.
“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 said.
“I had an older sister who suffered from schizophrenia so growing up that was pretty complicated and then losing mum to suicide.
“It wasn’t until I kind of experienced my own mental health problem that I was like ‘this is something’.”
However, after moving from her small, tight-knit rural town to Perth later in life, Brooke found a way to unite her passion for mental health with her love of sport, and she uses this to connect with her roots.