Merle Bamblett, a Bangerang and Wiradjuri woman was born in Narrandera to Alf and Esmeralda Bamblett nee Morgan.
She is the eldest girl of fourteen children. Merle worked in many different capacities to help her mother when her father died. She helped establish the Neighbourhood House at the Aborigines Advancement League and worked there for many years. She moved to Shepparton in 1980 and became an active resident of the Aboriginal community with a keen interest in the judicial system becoming one of the Elders in the first established Koori Court in 2002, serving until 2013. Aunty Merle always had a passion to improve services for her community, through a variety of volunteer programs including mentoring and standing up for the rights of Aboriginal people. Her outstanding work in the area of justice improved the community’s understanding of law and its processes. Aunty Merle also worked with the Institute of Koorie Education Indigenous research committee to provide advice on the improvement of justice programs, social inclusion and education. In 2010 she was joint winner of the Pennington Award that pays tribute to public and social housing residents who make a significant contribution to society.
Written by Aunty Esme Bamblett