Former Shorten staffer (and another Canberran) looking for love on 'The Bachelor'
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Former Shorten staffer (and another Canberran) looking for love on 'The Bachelor'

She's used to high stress, working late nights and being under the intense scrutiny of the media - so could Alisha Aitken-Radburn's experience as a former Bill Shorten staffer have been the ultimate preparation for success on The Bachelor?

The 25-year-old political adviser - she worked as an 'advancer' for Shorten on and off for two years between 2016 and March of this year - will vie for the affections of new Bachelor and former rugby union star Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins in the new series of Ten's reality show.

Alisha Aitken-Radburn is hoping Manuka's Public bar hosts a special screening of 'The Bachelor' premiere in her honour.

Alisha Aitken-Radburn is hoping Manuka's Public bar hosts a special screening of 'The Bachelor' premiere in her honour.Credit:Channel 10

While she no longer works for the opposition leader, Aitken-Radburn has given Shorten and his office the "heads up" that she's appearing on the show, and is expecting her political connections to open up a new and incredibly high profile audience for The Bachelor.

"[Shorten's] office has been great, they've been really good," Aitken-Radburn, 25, says.

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"I reckon everyone from Barnaby to Malcolm to Bill, everyone's gonna be watching on Wednesday night, I'm sure of it, because it's going to be an unmissable season.

"All the guys are going to be getting around it because of the honey badger and now I feel like everyone in the press gallery is going to be watching as well."

Tired of looking for love at Public in Manuka and on the ground floor level of Mooseheads - "isn't that where everyone in Canberra goes to find romance?" - Aitken-Radburn decided to try her luck on the show.

2600 represent: Emily Dibden and Alisha Aitken-Radburn are Canberra's hopes on 'The Bachelor'.

2600 represent: Emily Dibden and Alisha Aitken-Radburn are Canberra's hopes on 'The Bachelor'.Credit:Channel 10

"I've tried Tinder, tried internet dating - but I feel like in the scheme of modern dating The Bachelor is a pretty great route," she says.

She's already got the hots for former Western Force player and Bachelor Cummins - "he's a good-looking rooster" - and is "totally into" his much-criticised 70s-style curls and patchy moustache.

"Working in politics, I'm not surrounded by elite sportsmen so when I first saw Nick, I got out of the limo and I was really pleasantly surprised," Aitken-Radburn says.

Model and ballet teacher Emily Dibden loves being on the show with Aitken-Radburn. 'She's a crack up, I adore her," Dibden says.

Model and ballet teacher Emily Dibden loves being on the show with Aitken-Radburn. 'She's a crack up, I adore her," Dibden says.Credit:Channel 10

"I think it's really refreshing - he's a normal guy, he's very down to earth. I'd definitely sidle up to him at Mooseheads."

But securing even five minutes of Cummins' attention won't be easy. Aitken-Radburn is up against 25 women vying for the sports star's affection, including, as luck would have it, another Canberran.

Cook resident Emily Dibden, 24, a teacher at the National Capital Ballet School and model is also looking for love on the new season of the reality show. Dibden is a former Maxim cover girl and, in a bizarre and typically Canberra twist, the housemate of Meghan Markle lookalike Stephanie Murray.

Dibden knows the show will raise her profile nationally (and maybe internationally) but is looking to "put myself out there again" after what she describes as "a pretty rough breakup".

"I just thought why not? And getting the call was mind blowing."

While she didn't know much about Cummins before the show - "although I'd seen a few of his videos online and thought he was a total crack up" - she's keen to fall in love. But on one condition. Cummins will need to move to the ACT if he wants a future with Dibden.

The cast of 'The Bachelor' season six.

The cast of 'The Bachelor' season six.Credit:Channel 10

"I'm just a proud Canberran girl - I love Canberra, I love that I'm from Canberra and I love how supportive Canberra is - I just love the whole deal," she says.

"So for [Alisha and I] to be able to represent our home town [on the show] is just really fab."

The Bachelor premieres this Wednesday, August 15 at 7.30pm on Ten.

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