Glenella, an outer north-west suburb of Mackay, is situated on the Bruce Highway six km from the city centre.

A primary school was opened in 1912.

When the population was less than 100 in 1924 the post office directory recorded the George Hotel, a store, a two-teacher school and a post office in Glenella. The situation was little different in the postwar years, but in the 1970s, as neighbouring Mt Pleasant was urbanised, some scattered housing appeared in Glenella. By 1980 the population touched 1000, doubling in the ensuing decade.

A drive-in shopping centre, Mt Pleasant, was opened on the border of the two suburbs. Also on Glenella's border, the Northpoint shopping centre, mainly for bulky goods, opened on the Bruce Highway a short distance from the Mt Pleasant drive-in. Another local primary school, Northview, opened in 1986, next to the Catholic Emmanuel primary (1983) and the Holy Spirit College (1956) which are just beyond the suburban border with Mt Pleasant.

On the southern outskirt of Glenella (Fursden Street) there is a growing industrial estate. To the north of the Bruce Highway, the Glenella hall is in Davey Street, and a housing estate off Davey Street has Cricketer street names (including Burge Street, after Queensland batsman, Peter Burge). The Magpies sportsground and sporting club are near the Glenella primary school and a gymnastic centre is near the industrial estate.

Glenella's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation
192192
1947201
1966349
1976575
19811202
19861916
19962878
20063847
20114633