"Live your life, don't just exist," is the mantra of Cheryl Moggs, who has been named a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal for service to the Indigenous community.
"We shouldn't just be living day-to-day or week-to-week," she said.
"What will people say about you when you pass over? Have you made something of yourself? Have you been a good role model within your community?
"My message to anyone in regional or remote communities, who have been disadvantaged or disengaged, is that it is possible to succeed ... and people will help you achieve your goals."
Ms Moggs OAM grew up in a dirt-floor tin hut with no electricity or running water on the riverbank at Toobeah Reserve, but she never gave up on her dreams.
She has been committed to her personal development, and to being a good role model for her family and community.
The Community Justice Group co-ordinator with Care is a representative for Bigambul people with Goondiwindi Regional Council, and is the owner and creator of Cre8tive Mix.
She has been a teacher of Indigenous visual arts, natural resource management and culture disciplines in TAFE Queensland, Educational Queensland, Communities, Queensland Universities and Correctives Services for 16 years, and was also the manager of the Indigenous unit, Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, in 2005.
She was the winner of the National NAIDOC Poster Competition in 2018; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award at the Australia Day Awards for Toowoomba Regional Council in 2014; and a finalist in the 100 Women of Influence Awards, Australian Financial Review, last year.
Ms Moggs said this award was not only for her but recognition for our local communities.
"All of this wouldn't have happened without the support of many around me."