Aunty Narella Simpson

Narella was born in Cunnamulla. Her mother is a Ugarapul woman from Ipswich and father is from Bundaberg. During Narella's childhood she grew up in south west communities but her heart and grassroots are with Ipswich.

"I had a good upbringing. We respected our parents and appreciated what our parents gave us."

Narella has four children, 14 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Narella has volunteered for her community of Ipswich for 31 years. As a long standing member of the Dinmore Murri Baptist Church she has helped to organise many local events for people at the Church and in the community over the years.

Narella is a strong advocate for community issues such as community housing and homelessness, education, health and sport. She is passionate about helping her people and supporting the community.

Narella works closely in advising government agencies on local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

"I'm not frightened to reach out and ask for help. I'm not frightened to identify with my people and our culture."

Through her volunteer and advocacy work Narella had the privilege of meeting Prime Minister Julia Gillard during the Ipswich 2011 flood recovery.

"I enjoy giving and helping others in need. Helping out our brothers and sisters is about supporting our people. It's in our spirit to help people".

A proud moment for Narella was also when she met the Queen Elizabeth II after receiving a VIP invitation as part of volunteering for the flood recovery.

Narella provides mentoring and support to Indigenous young people to achieve their dreams.

"My advice to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people is to learn what's given to us and pass it onto others so they can help achieve their goals. Achieve your dreams and respect your Elders. Don't be shame of your heritage."