Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our Stories...

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. Three 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 fact that I’ve found my purpose! I have joined this group called Mummies on a mission – everything about this amazingly supportive group aligns with my soul! I’m digging deeper to try and release my inner phoenix by jumping in the deep & develop a kickass startup! 

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 have 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 realize that that’s OK. I have rebuilt myself 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 be the change I wish to see in the world.

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.

“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's Speel, Hinchinbrook Shire...

WTH is Aquo doing?!

Many, if not all of you (including my husband) are probably thinking “what the hell is Aquo up to!” And you know what? the Amy Irvin part of me is right there with you … And also shiting myself a little bit – but the Aquo part of me wakes up every morning and hits the ground running excited for whatever is gonna come up in my face today.

At the moment, my focus is on promoting the Hinchinbrook Shire with the main focus being the future. This district is not good enough for us let alone our kids… I don’t blame them for wanting to leave Ingham as soon as they finish school. I left as soon as I finish school, but challenging circumstances had me return and the rest was history. I want to know more about Hinchinbrook Shires history, I want everyone to know about Hinchinbrook shires history. I want to make this place great again much like it was in the 90s. I talk about the 90s being better times and then I hear about the 70s and 80s being 10 times better again and it makes me want to know more about those times.

What is it that is stopping the Hinchinbrook Shire from being ten times better again, then it was back in the hay day? – “Um pick me.” teacher sighs… “yes Amy.” “Try all the negative energy that is around the place.” – I have recently (last few months) tried to put a positive spin on everything that comes my way, and you know what? it’s changed my life!

My main Focus is currently on keeping my blog going, my pics flowing and teaching myself what I can where I can. I do have a few rabbits in my hat wanting to jump out and bam! Smack all you beautiful people in the face (you know, with love) but at the end of the day my boys come first and I can only do what I can do.

I would love to rapidly grow my following to my Website – aquoonline.com But it’s not going to happen over night, I’m fully aware of that and I’m in this for the long game!

I also have a Facebook page – Amy Aquilini – Blogger, as well as an Instagram page – “aquoblog,” I’m taking the good old ready fire aim approach and I never let today take up too much of tomorrow. The more platforms you are attached to means the greater chance the amount of people on such platform will come across you…

I am not afraid to fail – the person who’s not afraid to fail will always win!

I know I have A LOT more developing to do… to all my platforms, but over time that will all fall into place. In the mean time, I will just keep on keeping on and do what I gotta do. I dare say my head is wayyy to hard to even come close to the idea of weighing in on the thought that I will fail. I’m not afraid of death – been there done that! I need another challenge, I’m not even 100% sure, but I have an idea that taking on the world is going to be it.

I got this way because shit went down and I handled it… it took a while… but I handled it!

When you focus on you, you grow; when you focus on shit, shit grows – Anon

At this point in time, none of this makes sense to me, but I believe 100% it will work out. I’m doing me, this is my way, creating this pretty amazing platform, I’m Doing thinks to make things better for my boys.

Be curious about everything, even more ask questions about everything! Keep growing and evolving.

Old habits limit you from living your best life.

watch this freaking space!

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 Stories...

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

Hinchinbrook Shire...

Maraka Festiveal…

This year marked 60 years of the Maraka Festival in Ingham at the Rotary Park in the Hinchinbrook Shire so I thought I would take my boys down to the end of the street to watch the procession. They were both so well behaved which made it easier and Jack made some new friends – he’s usually alone dinosaur.

The procession was awesome! some awesome tunes played – I can’t wait till my boys are old enough to go on their school float! I don’t understand the random cruisers and patrols in the procession though? I get all the hotted up cars but if there’s utes in the procession don’t they have the Maraka queens and princesses on them?

I didn’t get one photo! ME who takes a million just to make sure there there for all of maybe half hour! BUT we had to go play on the swings on the way out, which we can do all the time haha.

So I was hoping this was going to be a write up on the event that would cop a million hits… But that’s just not the case sorry peeps!

It’s 8.00pm now and I’m sitting on my veranda listening to the festival and watching the fireworks. I’m contemplating walking back and getting ravs (My favouritist food in the world ever) and like a dozen canoli (like my second favouritist food in the world ever), but I’m sitting here thinking both my boys are FINALLY asleep and I’m not going anywhere!

So I made a tea… more like a rum and coke… Watched the fireworks and listened to the tunes pumping and went to bed. There’s always next year, and I promise if I’m able to there will be 20 million photos and a pretty smashing write up to boost our shire!

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My hometown – Ingham…

I’ve decided to change the direction I’ve been writing lately to a subject I am extremly passionate about – my hometown – Ingham. The small town (that is rapidly growing) is situated approximately 110 kilometres north of Townsville and 1,437 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. The town is positioned about 17 km inland within the Herbert River floodplain where Palm Creek drains the low-lying lands. The North Coast railway line passes through the town, which is served by the Ingham railway station. The Bruce Highway also passes through the town.

So there’s a bit of a geography lesson for you… haha I actually learn’t something at school – sorry that I gave you guys a hard time (teachers).

Ok – moving on… Ingham has been my hometown my whole life… Well – except for when I left school and hated everything… You know – that rebellious phase most of us go through, well… some of us. The suborn, hard-headed, independent little shits seem to be the ones who go far – look around. There’s no need to bring up anyone’s past, BUT, we all have a past. Ingham is the sort of town where some people forget their past and are possibly the most judgmental people you will find.

Ingham is the sort of place where there is more positives than negatives. Look at the support the town gave my family and I at the time of my accident, and still 6 years later they will lend a helping hand when need be. The 4 kids that live next door to me have become part of our family. My boys just love them – to the point my two year old yells out talking to them through his bedroom window – everyday… People need to change their perspective on the world. I would love for my boys to grow up here, to continue to build the empire their father and I are trying to build. What’s here in Ingham at the moment is unacceptable!

I’m not leaving the town the way it currently is – I want better for my boys. The best way to be in life to get what you want is to get out there and work bloody hard for it! That’s what I’m doing… Me – who suffers 24/7 chronic pain. I don’t want your pity… I want you to join forces with me to turn this town around! I love being busy! Being busy means I’m not focusing on the pain.

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you. – Mary Lou Retton

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire...

Calling the citizens of the Hinchinbrook Shire!

How about a coffee and a bit of conversation! – who would say no to a free coffee right? I’m currently writing about Ingham but I would love to make it more personal. I would love to hear your stories about the Hinchinbrook district’s history!

Contact me via Facebook or WordPress and we will make a time to sit down for a chat!

Who wouldn’t love this place!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know what I’m all about by now. Help me to build a platform that surrounds the Hinchinbrook Shire with a bubble of positivity and make our whole community flourish again.

Once people realize that changing the world is difficult, they begin to give up on those dreams they had. They let those dreams wash away and replace them with “realistic” goals that other people give them. Maybe you’ve even experienced this yourself. Let’s start today with a pledge to move past “knowing” and into doing. Because knowing may be cool, but it’s doing that will change the world.

I no longer ‘feel’ that those around me see me as “Amy Aquilini – The quad bike accident survivor.” I am now Amy Irvin, Aquo – Nice to meet you! I have been through the hard yards to be at where I am in life today, so now my next mission is to take on the world. The people that know me know that I can’t keep still!

“Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can affect the people around me; and if they in turn do the same, and affect those around them, then together we can change the world.” —Aaron Sheppard

It’s no longer about us – it’s about our kids! Let’s change the world for the better!

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

Welcome to Ingham…

The place where there is more sticks of cane than people – yeah Ingham! My hometown, the place where the sugar industry is 8th largest sugar industry in the world and the place where if you stop to talk to every person you know in Woolworths, you will never leave! We have a population of 4,357 people in Ingham according to the 2016 census.

The world’s Sugar Industry

10 LARGEST CANE SUGAR PRODUCERS
(2016 – in mln metric tonnes, tel quel)
1Brazil38.991
2India24.792
3Thailand9.263
4China9.084
5Mexico6.095
6Pakistan5.616
7Australia4.627
8USA3.518
9Guatemala2.909
10Indonesia2.23

My hometown is the best. We are located in the Herbert River Valley just north of Townsville and just south of Cardwell. We have an awesome 360 view and some of the best barramundi in the world. Our local beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, Wallaman Falls, Hinchinbrook Island, Mungalla Station, Tyto Wetlands, Mercer’s Lane Mosaic, Broadwater National Park, Tyto Art Gallery, Crystal Creek, the must-sees are endless! I have lived in this district my whole life and to date I have never seen Mungalla Station – But I hear Jacob Cassady is doing amazing things for our tourism industry!

I love Ingham, because it is a small town with a passion for all that is homegrown, sustainable and community-oriented. We are famous for our Sugar Cane Industry, our fishing (The brainwashing started in grade 5 from my teacher, Mr Gori), our wog culture, our amazing art and music scene. Ingham is actually home to some wonderful musicians – Joe Geia, Paul Tabone, just to name a few. It’s got a rich history and is also a bit rough around the edges.

I love where I live because of the combination of the laid back lifestyle and the amazing fishing spots. I remember somewhere at the start of 2013, I was asked to go fishing and the fish were going crazy! I was put in charge of making sure we stuck to bag limit. We were fishing for barramundi and mangrove jack that both have a bag limit of five – so ten of each fish… awesome I can do that! Yeah – no. One of the others checked when we got back to the hut and there were 10 jacks and only 9 barras! 9! You had one job missy!

You can drive 20-30 minutes from the main street of town (yes – we have one main street) to almost anywhere in the district. Pretty much any delays to the traffic in this town is due to a derailment (bins full of sugar cane come off the line – sugar cane everywhere!).

Certainly your attitude about where you live makes a huge difference. Ingham is the sort of place where you can walk up to a complete stranger up the street and ask them where anything is – if they can’t tell you, chances are they weren’t born here!

This is why I love where I live…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My scenery snaps over the years…

Something many people take for granted is how beautiful their hometown is until something serious happens. Take me for example – I just lived in the Hinchinbrook Shire fishing, camping and riding – living subconsciously – kind of like I was on autopilot. I never really considered how beautiful this area, The Hinchinbrook Shire was until the inevitable happened.

I say inevitable because before the 14th September 2013 came around, I lived life in the fast lane. A fast-paced, full of life, don’t care what anyone thinks of me but kind of cares what people think about me, loved Bundaberg Rum, loved to party, loud 21 year old female. P.S – I still love my bundy rum!

I had four near misses before my accident, the most serious being coathangering myself on an electric fence in the dark – I’m super lucky that the big fella upstairs had bigger and better things for me in life. Luckily it wasn’t turned on and must of been old because it snapped as I rode through it. I did fracture my wrist though, my mate at the time took me up to ED, it hurt so bad!

It wasn’t until I had my second child 6 years down the track that my mother said “There comes a time in life when you need to stop requiring validation from others and simply live your best life.” Ever since then I’ve started drinking, eating, living consciously, and it has changed my life for the better.

I went back on all my old photos and decided I would post unedited scenery snaps that I have taken over the years in the Ingham district. I would love for you to share one of your scenery snaps that were taken in the Hinchinbrook Shire!

My friend and his boat down Taylors Beach – Boxing Day ’07’
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Gentle Annie
Broadwater Lookout
A farm up Stone River
Whale season – Gentle Annie ’13’
Early morning down the main headland on the Aquilini farm
Driving home from Forrest Beach
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Beautiful sky down Kirkwoods Rd, Blackrock
Clement State Forest Beach
Mr Perserval (Storm Boy) down Lucinda Beach
Early mornings on the farm are the best!
Angry Skies are so pretty!
Beautiful night down Taylors Beach…
How nice is a fire on a cool night? so mesmerising…
Whale season down Lucinda…
Maxi’s at sunrise out Bamberoo…
There’s nothing better than the old school cane fires in the Herbert…
Pretty Sky down Bronte Beach…
Chillin in the harvester with dad…
I love sunrises that are this gorgeous!
When you need a change of scenery to write something great! Forrest Beach…
Sunrise Townsville Rd South…
Angry skies in the Hinchinbrook Shire…
My ‘Renee Vine’ looks amazing when it flowers!
Sunrise down Taylors Beach…
Sunrises down Taylors Beach…
Sunrises from Clay Street, Ingham…
A lovely day down Bronte Beach…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My favourite place in the world – Bronte Beach…

Bronte Beach became my stomping ground when I was about 13 years old when we would tell dad we were going for a ride, and ‘of course we were just riding around the farm.’ – We would tell him with our fingers crossed behind our backs. In all seriousness, we were lucky nothing serious ever happened while we were down there back then.

My best friend’s family had a hut close to main beach so we would always be down there, even if it was just for a day trip. Over the years, I have been down pretty much every track leading down there through Blackrock farms, there are millions!

The last photo of me down Bronte before my accident…

Fast forward five years and I would go down every weekend, even if it was just for a ride. I love that place! Pack up the quad, make sure you have more beers than food and meet us at the gates. If it rained heavily throughout the night you would have no chance in getting down there, it was a bit of a challenge even for bikes. I didn’t say impossible, I said a bit of a challenge. haha challenge accepted!

My now husband knew how much I love Bronte, so for our first Valentine’s Day together, he took me down at sunrise. Before kids I so was not a morning person, in fact, it was probably best not to converse with me until I had my morning coffee. There is two, only two things in this world I would be awake before the sun rose for, sugar cane harvesting and Bronte.

What an amazing place!

I would have been married down on the beach front if it wasn’t such a challenge to get down there. Actually, if it was possible to marry places, I’d marry Bronte!

I have so many awesome memories down there, many involving something completely stupid we could have killed ourselves doing – like swimming at the mouth between Cassidy Beach (smacks self in the head).

I feel sorry for kids these days, they will never experience half of what we used to. One being going camping down the hut! Some of the laws that have come into play lately make me so mad, but I’m sure that will one day be another story, and I’ll try not to make it sound like too much of a downer.

Humans have five senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. There is nothing better in this world than waking up to the sound of the ocean crashing against the beach; Nothing better in this world than the SMELL of the ocean in the morning; Nothing better in this world than FEELING the breeze against your skin first thing in the morning; Nothing better than SEEING the sun rise as you look out onto the beach and NOTHING better than all of that entwined with the TASTE of your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Not a very clear photo, but this was my life – brews and bikes with the blokes – I was the biggest tomboy ever!

Aquo Xx