These familiar faces will be sitting down with Karla Grant in June
Some of the biggest names in sport, media and entertainment will appear on NITV’s Living Black this month.
Brooke Blurton, Narelda Jacobs and Sonny Bill Williams will all join host Karla Grant for revealing conversations this month on Living Black, the country’s longest-running Indigenous current affairs program.
As ever, the program will delve into the lives behind the bright lights of fame, such as that of Brooke Blurton, who broke barriers by becoming the first-ever Indigenous lead on The Bachelorette Australia.
But life was not always glitz and glamour for the reality star.
Brooke Blurton on life and loss
Monday 13 June 8:30pm.
“I had to grow up quite quickly," Blurton told the program.
"When I was 11 years old, I lost two of the most influential women in my life within a month of each other… my Mum and my Nan, we were so close.
"I was in utter shock and my reaction to that was to shut down… I didn’t feel like I was really understood in that time and that’s all I wanted, to feel understood and valued and validated.”
As the public well knows, Blurton overcame this early trauma to become a celebrated figure in modelling and as the star of The Bachelorette.
She and Karla also discuss Blurton’s work with Indigenous youth, perhaps no surprise given her own troubled childhood.
Narelda Jacobs on being her ‘authentic self’
Monday 20 June 8:30pm
Another familiar face to many viewers will be the beloved Narelda Jacobs, the trusted face of the nightly news for Network 10 for two decades.
But as she told Living Black, the search for her own truth has been a lifelong battle.
Jacobs opened up about her life, why she wanted to become a journalist, and how she battled a strong Christian upbringing to finally find her own queer identity.
“I didn’t want to live a lie. I wanted to live my authentic self and I couldn’t be in the closet anymore with my family,” she told Living Black.
"So I sat my Mum down… the next thing she said was ‘I will never be able to accept your sexuality, but I will always love you.’
"She’s come a long way now, but I knew that there would never be that acceptance, so to have that love… was something that’s not afforded to a lot of queer people when they come out.
“It probably makes me stronger.”
Jacobs said she still has “fierce respect” for her mother, who defied the racist norms of the day to be with her husband.
"I respect her as that woman who married a Black man when it was shunned and frowned upon.”
Sonny Bill Williams on finding purpose again
Monday 27 June 8:30pm
He may be one of the best-known faces in sport, but Sonny Bill Williams also had to fight for his identity, in more ways than one.
Having played NRL, Rugby Union, and represented the All Blacks, Williams says he is now facing his biggest challenge: taking his talents to the boxing ring.
He told Living Black of the many pitfalls of his journey so far.
“They say only from the depths of the darkness can you reach the highest of heights."
“I was living a life that was boundary-less… I was young, some would say good-looking and I had wealth. It was hard to say no to those things. The way I lived my life on the field, I took that into my life off the field as well, where it was: train hard, play hard.”
Overcoming low self-confidence off the field was a major challenge for Williams, who struggled after his retirement from the field.
“I had confidence once I had a few drinks in me or I had drugs in me… but once that had gone, the next day… knowing that I wasn’t a good person, it takes away at your soul.”
“It’s not empowerment that you feel.”
Getting into the ring gave Williams a purpose again, as he told Karla.
To hear all these stories and more, tune into Living Black, Mondays 8:30pm on NITV. Join the conversation #LivingBlack