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

Once bitten Aquos not shy…

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Aquo. I’m outgoing, impulsive and straight down the line – most of the time. Two years ago, I started the blog Once bitten Aquos not shy… where I write about my accident, injuries, how I’ve rebuilt myself (into a freaking awesome human being if I must say so myself) and more recently about the wonderful businesses, places, people and history of the Hinchinbrook Shire.

I had a horrific quad bike accident on 14th September 2013, maybe you saw me on the news, in the papers, or maybe you were following Aquo’s Page on facebook. I would love to be a support system for others that have similar struggles to me, or those that are going through a hard time that need a bit of respite.

Fast forward five odd years and my speech & language skills have developed in leaps and bounds. My behavior has advanced in leaps and bounds – because I had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of my accident, it took me back to being like a 12 year old child. My speech, my behavior – everything. It was hell to say the least.

Throughout this journey my family and I lost the support of our extended family and most of our friends, personally & collectively. I guess they just couldn’t deal with the dramatic changes that were happening at the time, depression, anger, you name it. Thank you to these people, you have taught the six of us to be better people, and you have showed us how strong we really are. We are now the closest we have ever been, it’s an amazing feeling.

I personally have lost 75% of the people I called ‘friends’ before my accident and I’ve come to realise that that’s ok. I have rebuilt myself up and I’m now a better person than I was before, I’m stronger both mentally and physically and I’m a hell of a lot more successful. I’m so much more mature now, and thinking about it, the people I did call friends before my accident, I wouldn’t have anything in common with now.

Now – I’m a positive influence in the Hinchinbrook Shire – I hold no grudges, malice or anything like that to my past, present or future – I’ve been given a second chance and I’m going to use it in the most positive way I can to make the Hinchinbrook Shire a better place for the greater good.

I focus more on the Hinchinbrook Shire to do my part (and hopefully more!) to make this b.e.a.utiful part of Australia flourish again – for the greater good! I understand everyone is ‘doing it hard’ – trust me I understand fully – last week my marriage was about to crumble like dry dog poo; this week Andrew and I are stronger than ever! BUT… If we all actively try to improve our district, start to work together and put all the negative BS in the past, we can do incredible things!

If you choose to follow me and a post catches your attention, please, please drop a comment, I’m not going to hide behind my blog. I want to be involved with the people, the community. On the main page you can also sign up to receive updates on my blog.

I’ve started dropping business cards around Ingham so that you can contact me and we can catch up and discuss the History, people, places or events held in the Hinchinbrook Shire. I would love to hear from you!

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn.

Help me to make this adventure great!

Aquo Xx

Aquo pre accident, 2012.

Aquo was almost not even a thought… Almost…

My great grandfather Bertie Peri, my great grandmother Carmelina Peri and my grandfather Jack Aquilini and my grandmother Beattie Aquilini went up to Innisfail in the ute to look at purchasing a farm. They stayed overnight in Innisfail where they were ready to do the deal. In the morning when they woke up, my great-grandfather said something wasn’t right and he didn’t think they should go ahead with purchasing that farm. My grandfather agreed with him and they decided to come home to Ingham and forgo the 2000 pounds they put down to secure the deal.

Not long after returning home, Peter Alali rang to say Marcus Johnson wanted to sell his farm on Bruce Highway just south of Ingham. Something told my great grandfather not to buy that farm in Innisfail. Both grandfathers went Down to Mackay with their were looking at buying a produce agency.

While they were away, Peter Alali rang nanna and informed And informed her That Marcus Johnson wanted to sell his farm, it was late in 1960 and nonno and nanna moved into that MASSIVE farm house in January 1961 – nanna still resides there to this day! it’s been remodeled inside since those days, And my father and his brother built a big silver shed right beside it.

Nanna has been alone in that house for the last 10 years nominal passed away in 2010. My great grandfather passed away in 1974 and my great grandmother passed away in 2002. In all the years that Nanna has lived there she has done 37 years of fundraising for the Hinchinbrook Shire. Mainly for the Queensland Cancer foundation and the nurses quest The Endeavour foundation.

So there you go. Aquo was almost not a thought – ALMOST. How much sadder would this world be without me, like seriously!

Aquo Xx

Let’s boost motivation!

It’s that time of year where the sugar cane crushing season in the Hinchinbrook Shire and everyone is getting tired – burnt out! Especially the mums. I’m not saying the dads aren’t in the same position, but their mental stimulation is different throughout the day. This morning my baby is teething and wont stop screaming and my big boy is doing my head in and wont stop crying – over who knows what? maybe because I’m making him draw on paper not the walls…

I would so much rather be in a machine, listening to podcasts that I follow instead of being a bitch mum. I’m tired, they miss their daddy and it shows through their behavior. Somebody taught Jack to say “patients mummy” and if I find out who I would walk up to them and punch them straight in the face.

When I fall into a hole, I search motivational clips on YouTube and it does help to bring me back to earth. As I am writing this, I’m listening to Oprah Winfrey’s motivational speech and already I’m feeling more uplifted than I was when I started typing.

Each morning when I wake up I start the morning with positive affirmations. I started doing it in the mirror but now I just say them to myself throughout the day.

Here’s how I get through the day…

Your limitation—it’s only your imagination.

Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.

Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.

Great things never come from comfort zones.

Dream it. Wish it. Do it.

Success doesn’t just find you. You have to go out and get it.

The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.

Dream bigger. Do bigger.

Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.

Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.

Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.

Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.

The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.

Dream it. Believe it. Build it.

If you change your thinking – you can change the world!

Aquo Xx

You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve got.

Welcome to my new blog about a heap of different ideas to help you live a much more organized & fulfilling life. The idea behind this blog is to be very, very real. My aim is to help others that are going through/have gone through similar obstacles that I have faced/are facing.

My name is Amy Irvin (Haha it’s so weird saying that!) I was Amy Aquilini or as many people know me – Aquo. In 2013, I had a horrific quad bike accident that left me with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), In 2017 I bought my first home (Since I was a kid I have always said I would own my own home by the time I was 25, and I made it, just…) and had a beautiful baby boy named Jack in June that year, then in 2018 I married my partner Andrew and we fell pregnant again towards the end of August 2018.

I think in many ways, I’m living proof never to give up hope with anything that’s thrown at you in life. Never stop trying to better yourself – you will be surprised how changing the things that are thrown at you in life from a negative to a positive, will improve your overall quality of life.

Flush out the toxic people in your life, even if they are family – trust me, they are bloody everywhere! By doing this you will feel a massive weight being lifted from you. You will be able to live a much more fulfilling life.

Get up, put a smile on your face (regardless of what your going through), deal with your shit and make the most of it!

Aquo Xx

My head hurts!….

So a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a nondegenerative, noncongenital insult to the brain from an external force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functions, with an associated diminished or altered state of consciousness. There are a bunch of causes, mine was a result of my head colliding with a tree, and knowing how fast my quad bike went – it wouldn’t of been slow! From memory, I’m pretty sure my bike tapped out at 108km/hr.

A TBI is measured on a scale of mild, medium and severe. The medical term to measure this is something called a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and it runs from 3-15, 3 being someone who is in a coma or dead and 15 being normal. Mine was 3. All my family and close friends came to say goodbye, I couldn’t imagine how tuff that was, but it would have been nothing short of terrible. However, the big man up stairs had other plans for me, there is no way I was going out without a fight, not with this hard head!

THANK GOD my TBI was temporary! I will always have struggles with my thinking, processing, explaining… pretty much anything to do with the processes of the brain. I struggle really bad with my fatigue. I will go on manic highs then I will hit a wall and I will be destroyed for ages! I used to be ruined for a few days, now if I have a rest I’m usually good to go again. My speech also is affected pretty bad when I get tired, it’s like I’m blind drunk. A lot of people don’t understand my struggles and would genuinely believe I was blind drunk.

My dad had Power of Attorney over my affairs, so ultimately it was his decision to pull the plug or not, however, my family would have made a collective decision on something so serious. They were told that ‘if’ I survived, I’d be a vegetable. It would have been extraordinarily hard for my family to make a final decision because they all generally know my overall views, there is no way in hell I’d want to live like that. And then I started to show slight improvements.

I wasn’t going to let my limitations now stop me from having kids. That’s what I wanted the most out of life, I needed purpose – becoming a parent has proven to be the best success in life. I’ve only ever had three serious boyfriends, thank god I didn’t have a child with the first two! In 2017 my then boyfriend (now husband) had a 8lb10oz & 51cm long healthy baby boy! – he was on the bigger scale, both my husband and I were 5lb babies.

My TBI left me with immediate as well as delayed symtoms. I was in a coma from the second I had my accident. My immediate symptoms ranged from extreme fatigue, amnesia and inability to speak. When I was able to start remembering things, I couldn’t use my left leg so I was in a wheelchair until I learnt to walk again. I couldn’t drink water so they had me on this thickened fluid crap and pureed food, which I used to call ‘shit on a stick’.

Since my accident I’ve had double vision, which amplifies when I’m tired. I struggle to sleep well, I have tried everything in the book that could help. Lavender, phenergan, doziles, sleep sprays, relaxation music, classical music, reading, you name it! Doziles I found to be the most affective – an over the counter relaxant (your only supposed to take them for a while to train your sleeping pattern). I go through cycles where natural stuff works like lavender in my diffuser and listening to some kind of relaxation music then that won’t work so I will go back to Doziles.

I found phenergan rather dangerous because I would take 15mg and that would knock me around for the whole of the next day. It was a horrible feeling! And completely unsafe to drive under the influence, there is no way I would even consider the possibility of putting my son in danger deliberately.

My concentration was affected pretty severely, before I had no problem doing a 8-10hr work day, or spend 12 hours operating heavy macheniery. Since my accident however, I’ve really struggled with being able to stay focused for an hour. I had to build this up, there is no way I would accept that being all I could do. I started back at my local gym, Tweak Fitness and that helped me start to transform into who I am today. I was unable to remember new memories, which is gone now and I couldn’t lie to save my life! I would just burst out laughing like a crazy person and you would know!

My impulse and irritability were pretty extreme, I had to retrain my brain in order to change that, although that too is a story for another time. I have only recently been able to dial it right down to mild – where it’s almost non existent, almost. I had absolutely no filter from the get go which has taken 5 years to tone down to an acceptable level. I used to be really bad at repeating myself 5+ times, now I may do it occasionally but only a single time.

Anger, anxiety and depression are symptoms that will never leave me, however I have found different strategies of dealing with each problem. For my anger I started using reiki to channel all my negative energy so that it could leave my body. I wasn’t necessarily angry at anyone, rather angry at myself as it was extremely hard for me to get what was in my head out of my mouth. It was extremely frustrating! It still happens now, 5 odd years down the track, however a lot less and I’m no where near as angry as I used to be. Honestly, being a mum now, I can’t afford to be.

My anxiety used to be extremely bad to the point if I lost mum in woolies I’d break down. It became better however when my son was about a year old it escalated again. I recently went on an antidepressant that has completely changed my life for the better. I go through these waves of depression that since my accident until I resorted to antidepressants has been like the most terrifying rollercoaster you can think of.

Since my accident I have really struggled with people’s perception of me ‘being weak’. I never wanted anyone to see me as anything other than a hard ass, somebody who doesn’t play games, doesn’t put up with people’s bullshit, and definitely people who try to pull the wool over my eyes. Yes, I had a severe brain injury, no im not stupid. I guess that was just my insecurities eating away at me, since being pregnant with my second child, I no longer give two shits about what anyone has to say about me. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Life seems to be getting better all the time! I’m 12 weeks away from having my second baby. I have been able to let go of a lot of my anger which I think reiki has really helped with that, but that’s another story for another day.

Its true what everyone says – life is too short to be angry all the time, to care what people think of you or to live life seeing yourself as anything less than the amazing person you are. I’m so happy with where I am in life now, I’m mega proud of the way my mind & body has recovered. I thank the lord everyday for giving me my wonderful family, friends and the friends have become family.

Aquo Xx

P.s – please take the time to watch the YouTube clip I have attached, it gives a good insight as to the processes I had to bring myself through. 

I was where this bloke was. I had just turned 21, actually, I was 21 for exactly 3 months to the date. I was 10ft tall and bullet proof. It was a lot like the whole humpty dumpty saga, I had to put myself together again. It was much like growing up from a small child in a little over a year. I was the only quad bike survivor in QLD with my extent of injuries.