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.

Dear: – The Residences of Hinchinbrook Shire…

Photo by tyto.com.au

It has recently been made apparent that there are literally so many small and not so small things we can do to improve our beautiful little rural shire. I’ve decided to make a list, as my limitations are currently preventing me from pulling them off – CURRENTLY. Give me a bit and I’m a million percent positive that I will be able to accomplish everything that is put in front of me in one way or another.

One of the biggest problems this shire faces is how the kids aren’t receiving the stimulation they require so they are creating havoc around the place because they are bored. That’s not to say it’s 100% their fault, I believe as a parent you should want to know the whereabouts of your kids – It’s instinct for all parents isn’t it? My two year old goes next door but I follow him until he goes inside – it’s maybe, maybe 10m. They need more to do in this shire, I’m more than happy to work with any Hinchinbrook Shire committees to pull this off.

I have the best idea for a carpark party – for the grown ups! I’m thinking ‘the races’ without the horses – the atmosphere is awesome! – Every year. Setting the scene:- A casual mixer for business houses to network. Imagine the car park behind JK’S Deli, with a stage and run it as a professional event, laid back, but professional. Have a dj, a barbecue and drinks. It would be great to have more events a year for the business houses to attend. Possibly hold a workshop focusing on advertising their own businesses?

We could host a neon party in Rotary Park. Include a sausage sizzle and a little canteen. Focus on attracting the youth of the town (10-17) to reduce the crime that occurs because there’s nothing in place to provide them with the stimulation they require. We need to be able to make things exciting, to give the youth in our shire something to look forward to – but if they misbehave, get into trouble with the police etc, these events we plan for them get taken away. The youth in the Hinchinbrook Shire need to respect that these events are planned for them and we’re not going to waste our time if they can’t do the right thing. That’s not ‘the bottom line’ however… THE PARENTS also have to be accountable for their children.

Photo by Crossfit Sanitas

The rest of these ideas, they’re just ideas – I have no plan or clear direction for them, but I believe they can be developed into something great!

  • Businesses could run drawing competitions that children can enter and the prize could be that they could be in charge (within reason) of planning a community event. The best thing about this idea is it’s free.
  • Have a movie marathon in a different park around the shire monthly.
  • Start a group of Ingham kids that meet once a month and brainstorm different ideas to improve the town – Sometimes, kids have some really interesting ideas we would never come up with.
  • We could easily use amazing scenery photos from around the shire to have printed on shirts and sell them at the Tyto Information Centre. This is a project we could possibly get the secondary schools art departments involved – this would cut costs whilst teaching the kids a different skill.
  • Make use of our empty store fronts. I know this is already being done but is there any way to improve this???
  • We could start our own car free day. Where there are no cars to be driven down lannercost street. It’s a great way to fight pollution, if only for a day. I think this could even bring fun back into business.
  • Get to know your neighbours – I know, it’s the Hinchinbrook Shire but there are so many new families that have relocated to the shire. we all need to look after each other and stop being so complacent – we do live in a small town but it’s not the same place as it used to be in the early 2000’s. That’s not a good nor bad statement, it’s the honest truth.
  • Set up a ‘community table’ something like speed dating but have it monitored and have rules about keeping it strictly community based conversation. I could see this being a proactive event that could be the early stages of some great ideas to boost our shire.
  • stage a scene – like they do on the movie ‘friends with benefits’. This could be a fun creative activity.
  • Shop local – Simple! Support local businesses so we all win! Possibly have a workshop teaching people how to budget their money properly.
  • Mobile produce market – kind of like the home ice cream truck.
  • Write a letter to council –ย If youโ€™ve got a good idea, share it. If you want to change your neighborhood, start building a coalition. Explain your plans and help build grassroots support.
  • Smile – Smile all the time, about everything, at everyone – you could just change someone’s day!

This town needs more proactive, like minded, young adults, young parents like myself that want to see a better future for our kids. I want my boys to have the option to want to stay here when they grow up. People are probably thinking “bet she’s getting paid to boost her shire.” My response to that is “I’m not getting paid a single cent. If the opportunity one day pops up to make some sort of income – great.

I refuse to run affiliate marketing for something that doesn’t exist in our shire. I’m here, doing this, using my time that could be used playing with my boys, but – I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

FOR THE GREATER GOOD!!!

Aquo Xx


A bit about Hinchinbrook Shire…

I was having a chat with a really good mate the other night and he has always been very passionate about Ingham. He told me that three years ago the median age in Herbert Shire was Fifty, three years later it was fifty-seven. The median age in Ingham went up by seven, SEVEN! in three years! There are many of us who want to see a bright future for the Herbert Shire but at this rate it is becoming quite concerning. It is hard to put a ‘good’ spin on this – but I will try my hardest!

So – a bit about the Hinchinbrook Shire:-

  • We are located 29 km from the mouth of the Herbert River and 14 m above sea level.
  • The town is the administrative capital of the Hinchinbrook Shire.
  • Surrounding areas support beef cattle but sugar cane predominates all other industries.
  • We have the largest sugar mill in the Southern Hemisphere – Victoria Mill.
  • The town was founded in 1864 and was gazetted as the local government area Hinchinbrook Shire in 1879.
  • The Ingham Post Office opened on 1st January 1871 as the Lower Herbert Post Office and was renamed Ingham in 1882.
  • A gaol opened in July 1886; previously there had only been a police lock-up.
  • The town has a strong Italian and Spanish history – as back in the 1920s and 1930s there was a large inflow of immigrants from these countries.
  • The Black Hand Gang, La Mano Nera formed in the 1930’s terrorised the town with bribery and corruption, forming a dark chapter in the town’s history.

I googled ‘Job vacancies Ingham 4850’ as that’s the area that I live in, and there were two, two positions vacant where a school leaver could possibly snag a position with little experience. We need to create more job vacancies for the young people of Ingham to stay here, either provide them with the training they need or possibly go away and study – but then want to come back and make Ingham their permanent home, with a job that pays well.

I then googled ‘Real Estate Ingham 4850’ as that’s the area that I live in, and ‘realestate.com.au’ came up showing 473 results. I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. For there to be job openings through our town we need to boost our tourism industry. There are a few businesses on board trying to help increase the traffic flow through the Hinchinbrook Shire of people who come to buy – places like JK’s Deli and Bossi Boots, there are others, but these are the businesses I see actively promoting the Hinchinbrook Shire. It’s definitely a smart way to boost your business, because promoting the Hinchinbrook Shire rather than your own business, more people will come to the Hinchinbrook Shire and spend money.

Some ways we can boost our town is to have as many businesses as possible jump on the social media train. Facebook and Instagram are the main ones to focus on as they are the more popular social media platforms amongst businesses. Educate yourself – there is so much you can learn on the net for free, all you have to do is want to find what you are looking for. Best thing about it – IT’S FREE ADVERTISING PEOPLE!

People want to go to nice places – well there are many b.e.a.utiful places surrounding our amazing town. Take Wallaman Falls, Broadwater, Lucinda, Forrest Beach for example; just to name a few.

I know many people before me have tried to pump life into the Hinchinbrook Shire, but that doesn’t discourage me – not even the slightest! It’s my turn to have a go, take a slightly different approach and prove to the world that the Hinchinbrook Shire is one of it’s not so hidden treasures. I believe with my impulse and determination I can achieve something pretty spectacular – I don’t know what yet… but wait and see!

Aquo Xx