Pink’s former bodyguard runs for One Nation
FRED Brophy boxing tent legend "The Beaver'' is now in training for the fight of her life as she contests the north Queensland seat of Cook in a colourful addition to the looming Queensland election.
Brettlyn Neal, a champion fighter in Brophy's boxing troupe which still tours regional Queensland, has been endorsed by Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in what the party leader believes is a masterstroke to take out a winnable seat represented by Labor's Cynthia Lui since 2017.
"She is honest, she is a fighter, she won't take a step backward and she had done tremendous work in Aboriginal communities that actually brings real results,'' Senator Hanson said.
Neal, aka "The Beaver", whose extraordinary career includes stints working security detail for the rock star "Pink'' and holding her own in the brutal arenas of the Thai kickboxing world, has lived in a number of far northern Indigenous communities over the past few years as she works towards Aboriginal advancement.
Juvenile justice will be the central plank in her campaign.
"In a way I have been training for this fight for a long time, and I have sat in the background for a long time and now it is time to step up to the challenge,'' Neal said.
"My ambition is to help people who do not have a voice."
Neal has camped out with Senator Hanson under the stars in the far north as the Senator toured Indigenous communities, without a media entourage, to see for herself what the problems were.
Senator Hanson has been deeply impressed by Neal's methods in Indigenous communities, which now receive state and federal funding.
Neal's no nonsense approach to improving life for Indigenous people by teaching jobs skills and encouraging entrepreneurship prompted Senator Hanson to brief Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ked Wyatt, on her methods.
"This is the sort of thing that actually works, this is what Australia needs, this approach provides results and doesn't just hand money over to some bureaucracy that requires Aboriginal people continue to be downtrodden so it can go on existing," Senator Hanson said
Cook, which recorded a One Nation vote of more than 20 per cent in 1998 when One Nation first debuted on the national political stage, has a history of strong support for One Nation candidates
Neal - whose nickname may stem from her early years with the Brophy boxing troupe when she carried a stuffed beaver toy, or may be some sort of mixed up reference Brophy made about singing sensation Justin Bieber - says she is "in it to win it".
She said her work in Indigenous communities had taught her that some people in Australia simply had no voice, and she wanted to change that.
"I suppose I only really finally made my mind up to do this about two weeks ago," she said.
"And what pushed me over the line was the idea that I could give a voice to people who have none.
"If you are just a little person in this country you have no voice, and that happens whether you are in the youth justice system or in a domestic violence situation, or whatever your circumstances."
Neal won't be seen in the boxing ring for the next few months but is proud of her accomplishments, including winning about 200 fights, as well as her ability to pass on her skills to others as an instructor.
"For me it is not about the violence - it's about the discipline and the training and the health aspects, and also knowing you can protect yourself from attack."
Originally published as Pink's former bodyguard runs for One Nation