Brooke Boney was asked her opinion about Australia Day. Then she received death threats.


Within a week of starting her shiny new job on TV, Brooke Boney was already making waves.

On January 14, she walked out onto the set of Channel 9’s Today show as their brand new Entertainment Reporter.

On her third day, talk turned to Australia Day which was just around the corner, and Brooke spoke her truth.

Brooke was a guest on No Filter. Post continues after podcast.

“I can’t separate the 26th of January from the fact that my brothers are more likely to go to jail than they are to go to school.

“Or that my little sisters or my mum are more likely to be beaten and raped than anyone else’s sisters or mum and that started from that day.

“For me it’s a difficult day and I don’t want to celebrate it,” she told the panel.

“Any other day of the year I’ll tie an Australia flag around my neck and I’ll run through the streets with anyone else.”

It was Brooke's first week on the Today Show when she was asked her opinion of Australia Day. Image: Nine.

Boney's career had previously been mostly with the Triple J, ABC and SBS audiences - spaces where the view she expressed are accepted and well-entrenched.

It's probably why she was so taken aback by the vicious response she got from a much wider commercial audience.

"It was a bloody big one," she told SBS's Insight episode celebrating NAIDOC week.

"I wasn't expecting it to be as big or as severe as what it was. I definitely knew there was a big part of our country who hadn't heard different perspectives on big questions about our national identity before," she said.

"I didn't understand how new the concept would be to so many people."

Dr Vinka Barunga also spoke on the Deadly Future episode on SBS Insight. Post continues after video.

Video via SBS

"There were people who were saying really awful things about me, about my family, like awful threats, and it's really hard when people say mean things. I do care when people say mean things about me... but it hurts more when people say things about your brothers and sisters, or your mum, or your family," Boney admitted.

The 31-year-old went on to say that there was also an overwhelming amount of support that came from her Today show speech.

"It's the most amazing thing because you realise that you've said something that's hit a nerve for someone who hasn't thought about it before and it changes their mind," she said.

Boney also added that the whole reason she went into journalism was to help Indigenous people have more of a voice, and her Australia Day speech did exactly that.

"When you can see it, you can be it," Boney told Insight.

While speaking to Mamamia's No Filter podcast in April, Boney also reflected on the Australia Day incident.

“I genuinely believe the things that I say, and I think that that’s why it makes it easy to say them. It’s difficult to sometimes hear the pushback. But I would say that the thing that I have in common with the people who do push back, or who do say nasty things, is that their love for this country is as deep as mine. And we just have different ways of expressing it."

"Like I’ve said before, this is the best country in the world, but we can be better."