Secret Millionaire Chapter 14

NaomiSimsonFinal My life as an undercover volunteer

Secret Millionaire ‘“ Channel Nine 9.30pm 29 Oct 2009

Episode Four: Features Naomi Simson

To wake knowing that today would be a significant day in my life, one that I would never forget. There are only a handful of days in one’s life like it. I consider myself to be a person who doesn’t really get ruffled. I’m quite controlled and measured. I rarely get flustered or nervous. I’ve not slept well, too much to think about. I’m out of my comfort zone. I have no idea how today is going to go.

I’m enjoying the experience of being excited but concerned. There are butterflies in my stomach. Today I will go back and visit each of the organisations of I have chosen to give money to. I’m curious about how the day will pan out. To say ‘I’m a millionaire’ might sound so pretentious – it’s so un-Australian to big note yourself. We’ve worked hard and we’ve been lucky, but Pete and I have had tough financial times too, especially when we were first married and the first three or four years of the business things were pretty tight. What about our friends and family watching would they say’¦ ‘ooh lah dee dah so you think you are a millionaire now?’

I need to not think about all this, I’ve got to focus on who I will visit. I have my last bowl of yogurt, nuts and apple. Tidy my room at the green Hilton. I’m looking forward to seeing my family at the end of the day. I can count the hours now. I imagine that first hug from my children. I hope that they are coming to the airport. I know they will talk on top of each other with all their news. I have missed them.

Time to turn back into me. I’m glad to not be wearing the same jeans and black tops – that I have for 10 days. It feels fantastic to have my hair blow dried. I wonder if my friend Judy from 139 Club ever has the luxury of having her hair done, and with her impending Chemo it will be a long time anyway.

The last 10 days experience I realise will effect me always. It will put so many of the aspects of my life in context.

It is time for me to dress into my red business suit, I look in the mirror, I have clearly lost weight ‘in this Urban Hostage’ program.  I have played by the rules, lived on $20 per day.

I will be glad to leave this life behind. Given that years ago I back packed through Asia, I have stayed in some dodgy places. More recently I have been on many camping trips with the family ‘“ and this motel is better than many of the camping grounds I stayed in.

I prepare carefully for what I am going to say. The words go round and round in my head. ‘how will I come across? I’m getting more nervous as time passes. I have written all the cheques out. I have them tucked neatly in a red notebook. I know I must speak slowly; I want to clearly thank them for the experience and insight they gave me. I must reveal that I am not just a mother but also an entrepreneur and then pass the cheque to them and explain the purpose of the donation.

I set off on the long trip to Brisbane. All the work, energy and effort that has gone into the program – but I’m on my own. I coach myself ‘If it’s meant to be it’s up to me.’

I’m nervous as I wait to go in’¦ This whole 10 days has been all about this moment. The crews are in place, the producer has worked tirelessly to ensure every detail is taken care of. Now it is up to me – I’m on my own.

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  1. Denise
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Naomi

    I would gather you have had many emails in regards to you “Secret Millionaire” venture.

    I would just like to add my thoughts and share with you.

    The story has changed my way of thinking and putting daily experiences into perspective.

    To know that there are others outside our lives who are struggling is one thing but to do something about it and helping them is another.

    Just to donate time and goods can be simple measures which are appreciated.

    How to put into words how I felt reading each chapter is very hard to do.

    Emotional, sad, happy, funny, inspiring, challenging, bravery…….are not enough to describe

    Thank you for being you and sharing this experience.

    I am unable to watch the program tomorrow night due to other commitments however I hope it is replayed some time in the near future as I am very keen to learn who you have been able to help and how it may have changed some lives or made things easier.

    Take care

  2. Posted October 29, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Great story, Naomi. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kel
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I just want to say you are an amazing person for doing what you did. I teared up watching the program tonight.

    You have made such a huge difference to so many lives



  4. joshua manticas
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    hi naomi

    i am only a young 23yr old and having just watched the eposide i feel a need to tell you what an inspiration you are to so many people. Your very clear selfless nature is a true testament to sadly what others beleive no longer exist in todays society. what an experience you must have had, in just watching your experience i have been moved to tears to see others in that much need. Thank you for exposing the daily challenges many of us feel on a daily basis and being there to support people whom are in need.

    there truly are great people left in this world and you are one humble woman, all the best

  5. mike
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi Naomi,

    Just following on from your appearance on secret millionaire last night, i note your warmth and generosity towards all those unfortunate people and families. Your donations are a sign of lovely person. i must comment though on the amounts you did donate. I cant really see those organisations and individuals really having life changing experiences from the single donations you made. For example the 139 club with $7,500, alot of money in any terms, but im sure they would spend that in a few weeks on food and sheets. The $2,500 to the single woman, fridges and wardrobes these days would basically be just covered by this, not so much a life changing experience for the recipient. Your generosity is im sure very much appreciated, but in comparison to the other millionaires, the amounts were what i believe well below the public’s expectation from a very successful multi-millionaire. My thoughts only.



  6. Lynne
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Naomi – what great encouragement you have provided and challenged each of us with! I just wished to add my knowledge of young people studying at University whom my husband lectures to, and runs an Internship Programme. He has placed some of these people into not-for-profit organisations to work and assist in any way that is required. The fantastic encouragement here is that some of them have continued on after the programme to volunteer their services in these organisations – I think this is a fantastic testament to the students’ dedication and really great to see that there are young people today, and I know there are lots of them doing this, willing to volunteer their time and effort to assist those less fortunate than themselves.

  7. Naomi
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    “Hi Mike, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

    You can be assured that the seed capital that I gave to the 139 club has already produced great results (– the catering business is launched and the art auction (the result of the art program I funded) will be held on 13 November… Both are designed to be ongoing revenue generating projects for 139 – I have enjoyed the process of mentoring and being a sounding board for those putting these entrepreneurial projects together. So whilst you might consider it a small amount – they by no means do. It is money given with love and support – not just a ‘hand out’ this is what makes the difference. Much of which of course could not be presented during the program.

    It is sad for me to read your comment. And even sadder for Judy. You have clearly misunderstood this woman. I had to coerce her to even bank the cheque and to spend it. Too give too much in fact is very divisive in communities of the homeless. Even the small amount I did give her caused problems for her. I would have preferred just to buy her all the things she needed – but the show was about writing cheques.

    Mike I wish you well, but please be assured I am not stingy – I too did not know what the other millionaires did in their programs until they went to air (we never even met each other). It was not a competition between us of who could give the most. It was about the difference we would make. The lessons learned and how we could use those lessons for the betterment of all society.

    Thanks again for touching base…. Without it you would not have had a chance to see that there is a much bigger picture that what we see on TV

    Regards Naomi”

  8. Greg Colby
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Naomi,

    I have to say that Mikes comments certainly do show a lack of understanding of the issues on his part…and a lack of understanding about TV and your own personal motivation in taking part in this show.

    From the information you have posted elsewhere you have maintained connections with the people you supported and so the supposedly ‘small’ gifts on the show are far greater gifts than could possibly be added up or predicted.

    I enjoyed your episode more than the other episodes shown so far – not because of the people or the money or even the issues but because I felt you put your whole heart, shoulders and mind into your adventure.

    I think for the most part it’s hard for well off people to understand how life affects those in need, but I think that here in Australia we loose sight of the fact that even the least well off person is in fact rich by the standards of say an Ethiopian woman who has to walk 6 kilometers everyday just for water and then carry it on her head back to her family.

    We really don’t know what real hardship is.

    Naomi you are inspirational and I wish you well in all your endeavors.

  9. Posted January 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    You actually made some great ideas throughout your post, “Secret Millionaire
    Chapter 14 | Naomi Simson’s Blog”. I will be coming back again to ur website shortly. With thanks ,Elma

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