My Personal Background …..

As of 18.12.18

My Personal Background: I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s at Wilsons Creek, up in the mountains out from Mullumbimby in Northern New South Wales, Australia. I was raised on a banana plantation amidst the steep slopes of rainforest and wet sclerophyll (gum) forest and occasional cliff outcrops. The creek we swam in was  a very clear, clean freshwater rainforest creek with big deep pools. People now in the City, would give their `eye’ teeth for it as my late father used to say. See the following posts:

See the posts  below:

  • S1 chapter 1.  Exploring the Hiddenness Of Life
  • S1 Chapter 2:  Wilsons Creek Packing Shed as House
  • S1 Chapter 3:  House Across the Creek
  • S1 chapter 4:  Blackbean Rd.
  • THE CAIRNS TRIP… … A student experience in 1968
  • THE TRAIN STORY ….`the world is a very small place: an experience whilst I was a student in 1969’.

These were  posts on my personal experiences website:  ….. a Word Press website. Since Christmas 2015 this website has been hacked and was non operational until my son Anthony got me a new one under the same  domain. I been rewriting up this new website for year and a half. These stories have not been posted on it yet.

This website is used to personally stay in touch with hundreds friends and associates around the world. I frequently send out our personal experiences photos and then  links to the website posts. I now have three websites all largely free through Word Press. My son Anthony also has several websites as well and one of these has been hacked as well. The hacker knew there was a vulnerability in a line of code and inserted his horrible photos and said it had been hacked. It was bit disconcerting !!

It wasn’t personal  but it was by someone with time on their hands and who had nothing better to do so Anthony says.  Anthony knows a lot about these websites and knows far more than I would know about computers and the Internet than I will ever know.


Wilson’s Creek…. My personal background

Wilson’s Creek is about twenty minutes (about ten kilometres) up in one of the many valleys west of Mullumbimby, in the Northern Rivers area, in New South Wales, Australia.  During this time, I developed a strong spiritual love of Creation, Nature, Country Living and the Environment. It was a hard and  simple life with a  Dad and Mum and three younger  brothers (Gerald, Rick and Colin). My  late father had come through the Great Depression of the 1930’s. His father had  died when he was only thirteen and  he had to  leave home and fend for  himself. He had learnt many lessons of self-sufficiency …. personally and economically. I went to Mullumbimby High School in the 1960’s. In 1968 I left home to begin a new section of my life in Tertiary Education at Avondale College at Cooranbong right down near Morisset, near Newcastle in New South Wales. I went to do a  Science Degree. I had a Commonwealth Scholarship to go to the College.

See the posts below:

The Train Story and the Cairns Story. I stayed there for two years (1968 / 1969), (Physics didn’t agree with me! …. I had to pass  that to keep my Commonwealth Scholarship) then I came up to Brisbane to live. I finished a Science degree (in biological science) at the University of  Queensland in 1974. The Federal  Government provided free university fees  in that  era compared to the Hex fee arrangements  which are part of the Federal Government’s policy now.

I married Harriet (nee Kent)  from Melbourne. We were married in Melbourne in December 1975. We have  been married happily  for forty  one years in 2017. Instead of  going into a science profession, I went into my own business. Unknowingly, I had always had an artistic, innovative creative side from my farming background. I could pictorially visualise things in detail long before they were constructed. This was visually, in colour and in  three  dimensions. That I understand is a special gift in life.

Having  grown up in the rainforest country of Wilson’s Creek, meant that I had developed a special  affinity to nature and the natural environment. My late father had taught me by example, how to make things from the bare minimum of scrap, to turn unwanted scraps into useful items. He had come through the Depression days  of the 1930’s. This was recycling long before recycling was a fashionable term.

I had put this knowledge into good effect in the building of our future house. My mum taught me unknowingly to have a love of beauty, art and  garden layout. She  planted and arranged a huge flower garden around our simple house grown in  the brown volcanic soil and abundant rainfall.

I ran a small landscape design and construction company for 20 years from 1975 to December 1995, the year my very  severe brain injury.  I did very creative, individual designer gardens for wealthy residential clients. I was more an artistic sort of person, a lateral thinker ….. more artist than businessman. I was very concerned  with sustainability in a gardening and agriculture sense ….. can certain practices be maintained ….. is what you doing now, preparing the  way ahead for new life? ….. is  this garden going to survive twenty years?

See my personal experiences website: Sheehan Garden in October 2007 (1984 – 2007) I thought of a landscape as would a sculptor in a solid medium, but I saw it as a three dimensional piece of space which people walked through  which had an emotional effect on people. This space changed with time as it grew and changed with the time of day: shadows vs. sun patterns, boulders, colour, plants, trees, earth-forms,  solid structures and water. These were the ingredients in a subtle flow of landscape design and construction.

Unknowingly I was a landscape sculptor. Rather an intangible product  to sell  and run a business with!! Out of this stage I built a  structure for my life: my marriage with Harriet, business and  the house plus we had a  family. In 1981, we built a unique natural house which people often come out to see. This is on our five acres of light open eucalypt bush at Chambers Flat, Brisbane  which is 35 kms. out of Brisbane. The house is largely of glass set into a post and lintel construction of 100-year old broadaxed timbers and sandstone walls. The total  concept of indoor-outdoor flow, has a nice ambiance to it and the design is unique.

Harriet and I are into simplicity and recycling. We live in this amazing house built out of rejected materials  for $32,000.00 in 1981 (36 years ago from 2017).

Our house at Chambers Flat

We spent another $20,000.00 on internal things the builder hadn’t allowed for in his costing eg. stone wall construction, glass in the upper apex  of the house and brick paving on the floor in flowing lines etc. See the house and garden on my personal experiences website: See  these  posts:

See the current photos of the house and garden and the history of how we obtained rejected materials like the Supreme Courthouse stone  (where the Law Courts are now in Brisbane) …. two loads for nothing in 1980. They dumped 100’s of cubic metres as fill and built a  school over the top. The stone was cut of the Kangaroo Points Cliffs in 1877.

Harriet (my wife) and I personally share in the life of a ‘Spirituality from Jesus Christ’ or a Christian Spirituality. One of my favourite texts in the Bible is Psalm 19: 1- 4 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW):The Psalmist David says:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made. One day tells a story to the next. One night shares knowledge with the next without talking, without words, without their voices being heard. Yet, their sound has gone out into the entire world, their message to the ends of the earth. 

 This means in practical terms, that being in nature is meant to be like you reading and meditating on the Scriptures. In our house and garden, we have endeavoured to demonstrate  this sense of the glory of our Creator.

Having run for twenty years the small  Landscape Design and Construction business, I went through a life changing situation. In December 1995, I sustained a severe  brain injury  by falling off a boogie-board in shallow surf at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.  Consequently I was in a  coma for four weeks, confined in hospital for six months, had to learn everything all over again. These things included:

Had to learn everything all over again including walking, talking and eating solid food again.

  • Get my  brain back together from a very scrambled state since December 1995. I am not the same man as before my accident
  • Lost a lot of intuitive ability to feel what other people are saying ….. although that has largely come back now
  • I am not the same man as before my accident. However I have learnt to work from what I have and not from what I have lost. It is a new season in my life
  • I cannot drive twenty years out from my accident …. but I have learnt to drive on the Internet …. to go around the world in few minutes and see  hundreds of people at the same time.

As I said before, I now have three websites all largely free through Word Press and I send three e-mail broadcasts around the world based on these websites:

  1. My personal  experiences website: www.kenaitken.netThis website is used to personally stay in touch with hundreds of friends and associates around the world. I frequently send out our personal experiences photos and then links to the website posts. See further details on the posts below.

This community is meant bring a new sense of belonging with the real discovery or affirmation of identity through the Sustainable Life. My story, it can be read on a downloaded PDF file from  the website post at​:

  • The Brain Injury Community: is a global Brain Injury Cyberspace Community of many hundreds of people. This Community is focused on “Beyond Being a Brain Injury Survivor into Being a Brain Injury Thriver”. This is in  contrast to the motto, “Victim, Survivor, Over Achiever”

If you would like be  joined to  Ken & Harriet’s Place e-mail broadcast, e-mail me at I often forward on wonderful and inspiring e-mails which I receive from  other people  around the world. I also hyperlink photos and writing in posts in my personal  experiences website. I have written on our personal  experiences website: This website is used to  personally stay in touch with  hundreds friends and associates around the world.  Not only is it fun to travel but it means  seeing new and often spectacular scenery and geography. It also means experiencing meeting people in new cultural  settings and you realise  there are millions of others around the world who live their lives in quite often new  ways. They maybe largely ignorant of you and the way you live and where you even live.  Here are some years and countries we have been to: See this post on this website:

Ken and Harriet’s Travel post from 2003 to 2018.

See the posts  below: