Former New Year’s bub welcomes milestone event
SINCE birth, Courtney Simpson has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
Whether it was to be the first baby born at Ipswich Hospital in 2000, or time spent as a minor on international jaunts - little deters the young woman.
Proud mum Haleigh first spoke with the Queensland Times shortly after her daughter's arrival 21 years ago, commemorating the event with a front-page story.
It was on December 30, 1999 when contractions started; a near 28-hour labour followed.
The bundle of joy finally entered the world at 12.55am on January 1 to much celebration.
Ms Simpson has since gone on to carve out an inspiring journey in her young life, all while maintaining a cheeky competitive edge and fierce determination.
In just a few hours, she will celebrate one of life's biggest milestones - her 21st birthday.
Once again speaking exclusively to the Queensland Times, the self-confessed "study nerd" revealed her plans to celebrate the momentous occasion.
A small party with her nearest and dearest was all that she desired.
Unfortunately, many family members from overseas have been prevented from attending due to travel restrictions.
"It's quite hard not having them here, it was going to be everyone together for the first time in a while," she said.
"They were actually the ones who wanted me to have something for my birthday."
Resilient as ever, Ms Simpson refused to let the bad news dampen her big moment.
These days, she regularly ventures on family camping trips with younger brother Jake and dad Rob to indulge in her love for 4WD and fishing.
"Mum and dad have always tried to get us outdoors; we always used to go camping at a young age and go exploring things."
It was, however, her passion for childhood education which inspired her return to the very school at which she studied - this time, as a Teacher's Aide.
"I went to Woodcrest State College from Prep to Year 12 and within eight months of graduating school I was back there working," she said.
Her kind spirit was only further highlighted when she began to tutor a boy living with autism.
The hour-long session with him each week brings her immense joy, she said.
In addition, the hardworking woman also manages to find time to undertake her final year of full-time study at USQ.
"It's the best decision I've ever made, I'm just drawn to little kids and find the developmental stages a bit more interesting [than secondary students]."
Mum Haleigh agreed, saying children were drawn to her daughter due to her gentle nature.
"She's pretty amazing at everything she does, we're very proud," said Mrs Simpson.
"She's not your typically girly girl and that's what makes her so special. She works really hard at everything she does."
As for her goals for the next 21 years, Ms Simpson hoped to soon purchase land with her partner of four years - and upgrade to 4WD ute.