Our people

Our people

Mookai Rosie is only as good as the dedicated people who work here. Our team is made up overwhelmingly of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so we understand the needs of our clients and can provide a safe, friendly, and culturally responsive service.

Mookai Rosie’s professional staff include highly qualified clinicians who make sure you have the care and information needed to get healthy, stay healthy and give your baby the best possible start in life.

Our catering, maintenance and administrative teams help make your stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Our friendly drivers will take you to your medical and other appointments and pick you up afterwards.

Meet our Executive

Theresa Simpson CEO

Theresa Simpson

Chief Executive Officer

Theresa grew up in Cairns, with proud family connections to Cherbourg (Wakka Wakka) and Mount Isa (Kalkadon).

Theresa was raised by her strong and compassionate grandmother Bonnie Simpson, who was one of the original house mothers that had helped establish Mookai Rosie. Her upbringing immersed Theresa in positive cultural and family values, shaping her into the family-orientated person she is today.

Theresa has worked at Mookai Rosie for over 20 years, continuing in her family’s footsteps with a passion for improving women’s health. She has extensive experience in both government and private sectors, with expertise in business management and administration, human resources, finance, and leadership.

Theresa is determined to build on the legacy left by the women who built Mookai Rosie before her. This legacy encompasses professional, evidence-based health care and accommodation services combined, guided by strong and respectful cultural governance.

In 2022, Theresa was awarded ‘Leader of the Year’, at the QAIHC Awards for Excellence, in recognition of her outstanding achievements within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Health Sector in Queensland. 

Nicole Dorante Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan Chairperson

Nichole Dorante


Nichole Dorante is the granddaughter of both Rose Richards and Bonnie Simpson. Nichole says she feels as if the baton, and her grandmother’s fighting spirits, have been passed on to her. Now it’s her responsibility to keep Mookai Rosie heading in the right direction and to teach the younger generation as her Elders taught her.

“I am so proud to be a part of an organisation that I remember so well as a little girl. There’s nothing else like Mookai. Its uniqueness is that it’s run and staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. When our own mob come here, they have a place to stay where they can feel safe and comfortable, like a home away from home. No other service can give these ladies that and no one can do it better than us!”

Nichole is actively involved in the expansion of Mookai’s services to include men and other family members in our service models. “They come as a family unit so we need to help build on their strengths as a family. The families will have goals that they might want to work towards and we can help them achieve those goals”.

Meet our Management

Nicole Dorante Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan Chairperson

John Robinson

Corporate, Business and Development Manager

Profile coming soon!

Nicole Dorante Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan Chairperson

Lavinia Coyle

Quality and Compliance Program Manager

Born to a Wiradjuri mother and a Te Whanau a Apanui father, Lavinia’s passion for working to improve outcomes for her people came early. Growing up on the Darling Downs, Lavinia first came to Cairns and to Mookai as a 21-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker. She then left to work in the legal sector before returning to Mookai Rosie as a senior manager.

Lavinia nominates two main reasons why she loves working at Mookai Rosie; the high levels of cultural safe care provided by the predominately Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander work force; and the care and support offered to people. 

“I love working at Mookai Rosie mainly because of our ladies and because we provide such a unique service; such a desperately needed service. We provide holistic supported accommodation and health care for people at the most important and vulnerable times of their lives, when they’re ill or when they are having their baby.”

She says that the founders of Mookai Rosie, Auntie Rosie Richards herself, Esme Hudson and Bonnie Simpson are the inspiration for her hard work.

“The fact that more than 30 years ago these women saw a need in our communities and then moved mountains to ensure that need was addressed. They have done so much for our remote communities and our people through their perseverance and it’s that legacy that motivates me everyday.”

Nicole Dorante Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan Chairperson

Coming soon!

Health Program Manager

Profile coming soon!

Better Health Care is Our Mission