Bianca Hunt Wants To Challenge What I’m A Celeb Viewers Think Of First Nations Women

Image courtesy of Channel 10
Bianca Hunt wore the Tjilkamala dress by First Nations designer Ikuntji Artists on the first episode of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
When famous faces go into the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle, there's often a reason why they've decided to appear on the reality TV show. Perhaps it's to challenge themselves and see what they're capable of without creature comforts. Perhaps it's to revitalise a career in the public eye. Or, perhaps it's to present a new side of themselves to Australia.
For television star Bianca Hunt, it's a combination of pushing herself out of her comfort zone and encouraging viewers to see the multi-dimensional person she is.
In a media landscape that still struggles to best represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it's often First Nations women who are stereotyped or misrepresented on-screen.
The Kamilaroi, Barkindji, Ballardong and Wadjak woman says that she hopes by going onto I'm A Celeb, she can challenge people's misconceptions of her.
"I think what I want so-called Australia to know about me is that there are so many things about me that make me... me," she said in a video shared on her Instagram account. In the clip — that was filmed before she went into the jungle — the media personality said she didn't want to be put in a "box" because of her heritage.
"I can be the chick that talks about fashion and dresses up and looks cute," she said. "But I can just as easily have a conversation around serious things that impact myself and my community."
There's often an expectation placed on First Nations people to continuously comment on issues affecting their community, or bear the constant burden of explaining these topics to non-Indigenous people. Hunt says it's important for people to realise that speaking up on Indigenous issues is only a part of who she is and what she's passionate about.
"I think there’s a lot of nuance to being a Blak woman in this country," she said.
"I want everyone to see the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between [when I'm in the jungle]."
During last night's episode of the reality show, Hunt opened up to her fellow campmates about her thoughts on colonisation and Australian identity.
"I can’t personally say I’m a proud Australian because I don’t feel it," she said. "Because at the end of the day, my culture pre-dates colonisation."
Hunt said she understood "why people say that they’re proud to be Australian".
"Like, I get that," she explained. "I just don’t feel it. I’ve never felt it ever since I was born."
While she and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can use their platforms to elevate Indigenous issues, Hunt told the other celebrities that non-Indigenous people can play a pivotal role by being allies.
"Sometimes, I feel when I say stuff it’s almost like, ‘Why are you complaining?'" Hunt explained of how she's often dismissed when she speaks up. She said reactions are often different if you speak up "when you look like someone who’s probably having these perceptions".
"At the end of the day I can’t be the one having the conversations all the time," she continued, before gesturing towards co-star, Ian 'Dicko' Dickson, a UK-born, former record company executive who's famously known for being a judge on Australian Idol.
"I feel like Dicko is leading a lot of those conversations, especially in here, and so is Deb [Lawrance]. It takes more than just one demographic to change something."
Hunt has an established career in the Australian media space, having been a host of the 2019 National NAIDOC Awards, a guest on ABC’s The Drum in the past, and also a co-host of Indigenous TV network NITV’s Yokayi Footy program. In 2021, she launched her own talent agency, AGNT BLAK, aimed at providing a safe environment for First Nations media personalities, speakers and influencers to thrive in mainstream spaces. 
As she thrives in the I'm A Celebrity jungle, she's up against a slew of other celebrities facing creepy crawlies and extreme physical challenges to win money for their nominated charity. The cast includes netball legend Liz Ellis, ex-MAFS star Domenica Calarco, former Home & Away actor Debra Lawrance, radio host Woody Whitelaw, Geordie Shore's Nathan Henry, former Australian Idol judge Ian 'Dicko' Dickson, TV host Kerri-Anne Kennerley,  pastry chef Anna Polyviou, comedian Peter Helliar, Olympic lightweight boxer Harry Garside, TV presenter Aesha Scott, and AFL star Adam Cooney.
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