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As a child she was nicknamed ‘dead rat’. As a woman she was assaulted. This is how Bobbi fought back


Bobbi Lockyer is a proud Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Nyulnyul, Yawuru woman and an award-winning artist.

But behind the mum-of-four’s success story is a tale marked by abuse, self-harm, trauma and domestic violence.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: How Bobbi found strength through adversity

The 36-year-old has faced more battles than most, but Bobbi says her experiences have ignited her passion for “sticking it” to those who did wrong by her.

Bobbi tells 7Life gone are the days when she was bullied for looking like a “dead rat”. She has used her experiences to fuel her internal fire and she is not looking back.

“I was constantly bullied for being Indigenous,” Bobbi says about her childhood.

Bobbi’s passion for art and creativity never waivered. Credit: Supplied

“Kids would say ‘do you even brush your hair’ or ‘you’re so ugly’ and even ‘your eyebrows are so big’.

“Now people get their eyebrows tattooed just to look like mine,” Bobbi laughs.

Whilst the Kariyarra Country (Port Hedland) local can joke about her childhood days now, she reveals it has taken her decades to come to terms with the racism rooted in Australian culture.

“There is such a stereotype being Aboriginal, whenever there were stories in the news the kids at school would always go ‘you’re all the same’ or ‘you’re going to end up like this’.

“It was really hard being one of just a few Aboriginal kids,” Bobbi confesses.

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‘I was constantly bullied for being indigenous’ – artist Bobbi Lockyer

Voicing her dreams of becoming an artist, she was quickly told to find a different career path or a “real job”.

Bobbi devastatingly reveals she reached her breaking point during her teen years and she began to self-harm.

Bobbi was bullied all throughout her schooling years.
Bobbi was bullied all throughout her schooling years. Credit: Supplied

The bullying left a young Bobbi feeling empty and not wanting to be alive.

With no “self love” she confesses she loathed herself and would steer clear of representing her culture in any way.

So even though Bobbi held on to her dream of being an artist, whenever she drew people they were always “white and blonde”.

“I never saw someone like me … someone brown on magazine covers. So when I drew, I only drew what I thought people wanted,” she reveals.

Bobbi continued to fight for her art and she eventually became a photographer and did some graphic design work.

She went on to have four children, however she also suffered through a domestic violence situation.

“Slowly his control grew over the years,” she says of her relationship.

“There were times when it was physical … and others when he would degrade me and swear at me.

Source: 7News