There were a lot of landmark moments on this season of The Bachelorette. Yamatji and Noongar woman Brooke Blurton being the first Indigenous, bisexual lead. The first acknowledgement of country on this franchise. The first welcome to country, too. And now, during the Bachelorette finale: the conversation between Brooke’s friends and contestants regarding knowing whose land you’re on.
In The Bachelorette finale episode tonight, we saw a scene on television that was practically unprecedented in terms of the standard it held its audience too.
Contestants vying for Brooke’s heart, Darvid Garayeli and Jamie-Lee Dayz, met Brooke Blurton’s protective friends in the finale, including Gomeroi woman Amy Thunig.
Immediately, Amy launched into an interrogation about what Darvid and Jamie know about Brooke’s heritage. Do they know what mob she is? Do they know what land they live on? Despite dating Brooke for three months and being in love with her, both said no.
Amy also asked Darvid: “
And that’s the fucking truth.
Also, if you don’t know who’s country you’re on right now, go educate yourself because it shouldn’t be an Indigenous persons’ job to educate you on the stolen land YOU live on rent free. This is a primo opportunity to have a chat with your friends/fam about it.— Lav Baj (@lavosaurus) November 25, 2021
Learning what land you are on isn’t something you start caring about once it becomes relevant to your interests — it’s a responsibility we have as either settlers or colonisers on this stolen land.
Amy tells Jamie-Lee: “
Of all the hometowns we've ever done – Amy's identification of how they each handled this particular deficit in knowledge says so much more than "they wouldn't move for you" or "Yeah but he works FIFO" #BacheloretteAU.— Osher Günsberg (@oshergunsberg) November 25, 2021
Being Aboriginal is a huge part of Brooke’s identity, and it informs her way of living, the relationships she has, and who she is as a person. Basically, it’s not seperate to her person, but a part of it. And it is wild that neither of the contestants who made it to the Bachelorette finale actually thought to learn more about her identity than just ‘she’s Aboriginal’. I mean, ‘Yamatji/Noongar’ is literally listed in her Instagram bio, for a start.
See, the thing that was important about this scene was the standard it held its audience to. Amy Thunig didn’t sit there and explain or justify why Darvid and Jamie-Lee should know what land they live on, and what mob Brooke is.
She didn’t have to, and as viewers, we were presented with the idea that this knowledge is the expectation. As it should be.
This is not me trying to congratulate us for the bare minimum, by the way, but it just really hit a chord with me about why what @AmyThunig did tonight was so important— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) November 25, 2021
Not everyone knows whose land they are on. Clearly, considering Darvid and Jamie-Lee dated Brooke for three months, have been told numerous times that her culture and history are important to her, and literally entered the show knowing Brooke is Aboriginal, but still never did the work to actually learn what that means. It’s not a good look.
But this conversation, on national prime time television, is going to make people think twice about the deficits in their knowledge. It’s going to make them think twice about what they do and don’t know regarding invasion. And hopefully, it’ll make people who haven’t thought about whose land they are on investigate and learn.
This stolen land will always be Aboriginal land. And hopefully, more people who are ignorant on that will start to consider it.