Reality TV

The Bachelor Australia Brooke’s childhood heartache: “My mum passed away when I was 11”

There's a lot more to this Bachie babe than meets the eye.
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She plays AFL, is down to earth, and has no clue who The Honey Badger is – I think we’ve found our winner!

Brooke tells NW her perfect partner is “someone who… has passion and drive to do amazing things, but also has empathy and compassion for others.”

Compassion is particularly important for Brooke, who had a devastating childhood after her mother tragically committed suicide when she was 11 years old.

Brooke also identifies as bisexual, and will be expecting Nick to be very accepting of that if he falls for her.

Get to know Brooke as she tells NW her heartbreaking story.

On paper, Brooke sounds like Nick’s perfect match!

How you ended up on The Bachelor?

Brooke: I take finding someone seriously. Going on The Bachelor was going to be a crazy little adventure, but I thought, ‘why not?’.

You’re a youth worker, tell us about that…

Brooke: We run programs for young people. We work in different areas with different people and I love my job. I guess I’m pretty grateful and feel very lucky.

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.

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.

You had a difficult upbringing; did that encourage you to get into this line of work?

Brooke: Yeah, most definitely! I think everything is an experience you have to try and turn negative into a positive.

Growing up I didn’t really want the life that I had, so I made it my focus to do whatever I needed to do to have a better life and to help young people in my situation.

READ NEXT: The Bachelor Australia EXCLUSIVE: Nick Cummins reveals, “I’m ready to propose!”

What was your situation growing up?

Brooke: I didn’t have the stability that was normal. My family constantly moved, and I was surrounded by things that kids shouldn’t be exposed to at such a young age.

Generally I was calm in that situation because I thought it was the norm and that was just what life was.

You never know what other people are dealing with when you are growing up, and you don’t know any different.

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.

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.

Did you get to stay with your brothers?

Brooke: We were always together until my mum passed away and then we separated. I was about 11. I had to make a big decision to move to Perth, away from my family. I’m glad I did though.

When you moved to Perth, did you have a foster family?

Brooke: I moved with my dad but he was working away and thought that living with his wife [Brooke’s step mum] would be good for me because she would be a motherly figure. So I lived with my step mum, which was complicated.

Tell us about your sporting background, you play footy!

Brooke: I play AFL and have done pretty much since I was born. But in the past two years I transferred over to Rugby League and then over to Union. I don’t even know the rules properly but it happened by chance that I got into Rugby. It’s only my second year and I’m still new to it.

That explains why you didn’t know Nick then?

Brooke: Most definitely. I did laugh at myself when I watched the promo. I didn’t know who he was! Because AFL is my preferred sport, I don’t really know rugby players and as I said, ‘I still don’t really know the rules’. So when they said I was a professional Rugby Union Player, I was in shock.

Meet all of the Bachelor Australia 2018 contestants in this week’s issue of NW, on sale now!

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