Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our People

My dad – Big Al…

Mr Wilson, Big Al, Al Aquo are just some of the nicknames dad has acquired over the years. My dad is the most amazing human being on this planet, he means the absolute world to me. He is the strongest, most kind hearted bloke I have ever met – and dad, It’s ok, I know I’m your favourite. See that’s a joke between my two sisters, my brother and I. They always call themselves mum’s favourite – It’s ok, cause I’m dad’s.

Here’s a fun fact – not many people know this but when he is really angry his eyes turn yellow. Like a freaky daemonic yellow you see on Supernatural.

Dad and I at The last Race Meet in Ingham before my accident…

Until my accident I was dad’s shadow – “I’m going to do farm work.” “Riteo, I’m coming.” I’d yell at mum through the house “mum, I’m going farming with dad.” Over the years we have become professional singers, but… Only in the harvester. Every Morning by Sugar Ray, Copperhead Road by Steve Earle, any song by The Eagles and pretty much every Dixie Chicks and Pink songs, were just some of tunes we would bust out to. After Zio Jon passed, Drops of Jupiter by Train and Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd became some of the most popular – As they were Zio’s favourites.

People could say that the perfect father does not exist, I actually do not know if that is true, but what I surely know is that my father is perfect for me. Dad has always been able to keep me level headed – he can always, always calm ‘the angry bird’ – as I put it. BECAUSE he says it how it is!

I consider myself so blessed because I can’t think of a way I could improve upon my relationship with my father, except for perhaps by spending more time with each other. I have always been close with my Dad, and as each year I grow I find that I am becoming more and more like him, which makes me happy. Dad and I are still close, but life gets busy… especially when the sugar cane crushing season starts. It’s now too hard for me to take both the boys out to where dad is cutting and go for a ride in the harvester and after he finishes he’s too tired to come in and visit. I get it… I didn’t say I like it… But I get it.

BUT – The first thing I do when mum’s free is drop my Harry off and take Jack for a ride with dad. He loves anything farming, especially with Nonno.

My father has taught me to have strong moral values, personal responsibility, honesty and trust. He has shown me how to be compassionate and to be a respectful person in life. He taught me the value of education, and how to make good decisions in life. I’m not saying I make good decisions in life but dad did teach me about them haha. While he showed me how to have fun and to laugh, he also has taught me the meaning of hard work, and the meaning of love. He did this by being a nurturing father, coach, along with being a loving parent.

My father has always been there to share with me moments of joy and times of hardship. He has generously given me his personal time, so that I may grow up to face this challenging world full of courage, hope and faith. My father is not perfect, and like every human, he has his faults, struggles and weaknesses. He taught me, however, how to face these problems and challenges with a positive attitude and a strong will. I remember when I swamped his six wheeler in Christie’s Creek – All dad cared about is if everyone was OK, he stripped the six wheeler to let it dry out, he measured a meter of water that went through the vehicle but thanked me for killing the ants nest that had been in there for ages. This example and all the other memories I have shared with my father will be everlasting and have a positive influence on my life.

Our family is unified, we work together nurturing our love to keep it positive and in full force against any opposing force that would tear down our family unit. We are a very close family woven together by difficult times, learning from our experiences and pursuing peace and harmony.

I believe I need to keep forgiveness strong, peace active, love appropriated and strength exercised. I pray to god to give my father the will to pull through any rough times he faces and be bless him for his love, strength and wisdom. My dad has to be the most humble man in the world – I have so much respect for him.

Congratulations again dad on operating a harvester for 40 years. We are all super proud of you and wish you all the best for the future.

Love,

Number 1 Xx

Dad and I at the 2014 Race Meet…
Something I started before my accident – dinner and drinks in front of a fire…
Always with dad…
I planned dad a little gathering for his birthday 2015…
Dad and I on my wedding day 2018…
Dad and I at Ben & Jess Barbi’s engagement 2018…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our People

Sir Arthur Fadden…

The Hinchinbrook Shire has an extremely rich history so I’ve decided to dig a little deeper and extend my knowledge on our little slice of paradise!

Sir Authur Fadden

Sir Arthur William Fadden was an accountant and prime minister. He was born on 13 April 1894 at Ingham, Queensland, eldest of ten children of Irish-born parents Richard John Fadden, police constable, and his wife Annie, née Moorhead. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Richard had served in the Royal Irish Lancers before emigrating to Australia; he joined the Queensland Police Force and, about 1900, took charge of the station at Walkerston, near Mackay. Educated at the local state school, at 15 Artie began work as billy-boy to a gang of cane-cutters and soon became office-boy at the Pleystowe mill.

As a young man he participated enthusiastically in social and sporting activities. He excelled at cricket, Rugby Union football, boxing and foot-racing, and performed in amateur theatricals as an original member of the Walkerston ‘Nigger Minstrel Troupe’. Exhibiting a flair for figures, in April 1913 he was employed as a clerk with the Mackay Town Council. Three years later he discovered defalcations in the books kept by the town clerk; the man was dismissed and Fadden appointed in his place. He married a milliner Ilma Nita Thornber on 27 December 1916 with Presbyterian forms at her mother’s Mackay home; they were to have four children.

On 20 January 1918 a cyclone hit Mackay, wrecking the town, killing more than twenty people and cutting off help from outside. Fadden and his family narrowly escaped being drowned. As a member of the cyclone relief committee, he worked tirelessly and effectively to find shelter for the homeless, and to distribute food, clothing and building materials. Having qualified in accountancy through a correspondence course, he resigned his local-government post in September and set up as a public accountant at Townsville. He became a member (1921) and fellow (1928) of the Commonwealth Institute of Accountants (Australian Society of Accountants). His business prospered and he was to establish the firms Fadden, Sutton & Co., Townsville, and A. W. Fadden & O’Shea, Brisbane.

So – it’s not mind blowingly exciting or anything, but it’s good to know where we are from. A bit of knowledge never hurt anyone…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our People

Life as a confident country girl…

I was born – and have lived (bar from a rebellious stage when I left high school and said I was never coming back) – and vow to die in the small country town of Ingham. Sorry to disappoint the haters – but do you really think I was going anywhere without a fight?

Who is Aquo

My two sisters and I were raised to be very confident, very outspoken, not afraid of anything young ladies. Six months of the year mum was a single parent (due to the sugar cane crushing season) and we didn’t have dad there with his old ‘Don’t make her do something she doesn’t want to do’ line so we all become our own versions of strong. We have the queen of Ice Queens, The queen of survivors, and the artistic flare of the family !

Lene, Aquo & Maddy – Aquo’s 21st @ Mission Beach, May 2013

Still to this day when mum wants me to do something I’m not keen on I pull out my ‘my dad said I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do’ line – I’m 27.

It’s really important to teach girls from the time they start to understand the world that no matter what, they are strong. Raise your daughters to be independant and not be the victim of anything that comes at them in life. Growing up will still be a challenge, I suffered from terrible anxiety through school. But as they get the hang of being a young woman, they will come out the other end with a set of balls as big as a bull!

Look at the set on this one!

No but seriously – give your daughters the best tools to become the strongest, most confident version of themself and she will go far in life.

When people ask me how I’ve come as far as I have I say – ‘Well, I wasn’t going to roll over and die. I was given a second chance (Or third or forth, I’m like a cat – 9 lives but we will talk about that another day) so I’m going to tell my story to my whole town, and if I get to tell the world – great!

People need to discover their own superpower. Mine is my strength, my honesty and lack of filter all fall into it but I’m strong. No – I’m fucking strong! You go through what I have in my last 6 years and let me know how you go! And no, that’s not a challenge – so settle down.

I want to become a public figure who promotes my town to ensure there is a town for my boys to grow up in. Ingham is a beautiful place and it would be a shame to see that all fade away.

There comes a time in life when you need to stop requiring validation from others and simply start living your best life.

According to the ‘culture trip’ there are 11 Inspiring Australian Women Who Changed History… I want to be the 12th Australian woman to change history!

Here’s a list of those wonderful ladies!

Wilhelmina (Mina) Wylie (1891-1984) and Sarah (Fanny) Durack (1889-1956)

Edith Cowan (1861-1932)

Evelyn Scott (1935-2017)

Maude Bonney (1897-1994)

Jane Foss Barff (1863-1937)

Faith Thomas (1933-)

Louise Mack (1870-1935)

Nova Peris (1971-)

Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952)

Gladys Elphick (1904-1988)

Elizabeth Blackburn (1948-)

I would love more than anything in the world to become number 12. I would love more than anything for the list to read:- The 12th Amazing woman who changed Australian history – Amy Shannon Aquilini – Irvin (Aquo)!

And… here are a few sayings I have found through the years that I wrote down that have helped me dig my way out of the darkest bloody hole you have ever seen! I don’t think they are famous quotes – but I apologize if they are and I haven’t referenced them!

  • Be that strong girl that everyone knew would make it through the worst!
  • Being a strong woman is misconstrued to be evil and ugly – (I want to change that!)
  • Nothing is more impressive than a woman who is secure in the unique way god made her. (I want to be her!)
  • Don’t be the woman that needs a man, be a woman a man needs. (Be your own outgoing self!)
  • Be the goddess who honors her body as the sacred temple of the spirit of life. With each inhale as a prayer of gratitude. (My 1st fave quote ever. That’s why I exercise like the crazy person I am!)
  • Don’t depend too much on anyone in the world because even your own shadow leaves you when your in darkness. (My 2nd fave quote ever! Relating to my darkest time yet!)
  • May your coffee be strong and your heart be grateful! (I love this! There is nothing better in life than that deep breath and exhale after your first sip of coffee in the morning – not even sex! but – sex is pretty good)

Today isn’t a great day for me, I woke up and couldn’t drag my ass out of bed, slowly slowly I got up as my husband was going out the door but I see it like this – I’M STILL HERE! – That is my running song! It gets me so pumped!

I may be sitting here typing as my baby is asleep in the bouncer but I feel I’ve been productive. My kids are fed, they’re clean, I’ve got dinner defrosted and will have it on the table by 5.30pm so no matter when hubby gets home dinner is ready for him to eat. Usually I stop what I’m doing and we sit down together and discuss the days happenings, but if there’s something pressing – i’ll go handle that and the household moves on.

When I lose concentration I’ll go make a coffee and play with the kids. I have all my apps linked to all my devices so if my 2 year old wants a cuddle after a big day, we sit down and put Blippi on tv and i’ll work away on my phone or tablet. Tonight after we have all had a shower I will put our clothes in the wash. Then the kitchen is cleaned and just before I TRY switch off for the night the clothes get either hung up or depending on my day (and how much of a head-f$#k it was) they will go in the dryer.

So guys – that for me is a lazy day, those days where you don’t want to do shit! (and on that note – i’ll go do a 30min sesh of weights… brb.) So I did that and a million ideas come to me while I was working up a sweat but now I sit back down you think I can remember any of them! See I don’t know if it’s scaring from my TBI (traumatic brain injury) or mum brain… but I think every person in the world would benefit from using the app ‘Elevate‘ to exercise their brain so that humans can get back in the lead of the race between humans and computers! or… at least try!

Aquo Xx