Crunching the numbers of the city
OUR CITY OUR FUTURE - Shannon Aspinall
SHANNON Aspinall secured her future in Warwick and believes the town has the opportunities to do the same for many more.
Growing up in Stanthorpe, Mrs Aspinall finished high school in late 1993 and started work at the Australia Professional Rodeo Association in Warwick the next week.
"I missed my Schoolies week to start work," she said.
"I always jokingly reminded my boss of that."
"I finished school on the Friday and started work on the Monday."
However, the start to her working career wasn't without its hiccups.
"They didn't ask in the interview if I could type," she said.
"As I was applying for a junior administration role I guess they just assumed I could.
"I couldn't, so I had to learn on the fly in a real hurry."
In those days, Mrs Aspinall caught a Crisps bus from Stanthorpe to Warwick and back every day.
"Quite a few people did that," she said.
"Soon I got a licence and a car and eventually I moved into Warwick."
Mrs Aspinall said she worked at APRA until 2007.
"During that time, I got married, had kids and finished a Bachelor of Commerce externally," she said.
"It wasn't easy juggling everything but it must have been meant to be.
"The organisation is very close to my heart because I spent so much time there and came so far."
"I still work for them, although in a different capacity and I'm so grateful for that."
From 2007 Mrs Aspinall began studying to become a certified practising accountant.
"That took me two years to complete and I worked at various firms around town while I did that," Mrs Aspinall said.
"Then in 2012 I decided to start my own business - Shannon Aspinall Bookkeeping and Accounting.
"Accountants will always be the bean counters of society to some degree, but these days it's so much more about the client, the person.
"Everyone has challenges and business can be very stressful, so if I can make a difference in that part of someone's life, make things more manageable, then it might free up resources for other parts of life."
Mrs Aspinall said she operates her business from home.
"That's always worked for me, having kids, and being able to keep an eye on them," she said.
"It takes a lot of self-discipline, which I must say I have become better at over time.
"I'm very lucky to have a lovely client base and I consider them friends, even family, even if I only see them once a year."
Mrs Aspinall said running a business in Warwick wasn't without its struggles.
"There's a shortage of work here," she said.
"I know a lot of people who have to work two, even three jobs.
"They're not unemployed, they're under-employed.
"Cashflow is tight as well, but that's not isolated to Warwick, that's happening everywhere."
Despite the current economic climate, Mrs Aspinall believes Warwick is on the right track.
"We have so many talented people in town," she said.
"Highly skilled and inventive tradespeople and others with great business sense and the future looks good.
"Shopping and investing locally is great for the town, but we also need that outside money to come in in order to blossom."
Mrs Aspinall said Warwick local events and facilities were such a drawcard.
"We have some amazing resources and facilities here that we're lucky to have," she said.
"Places like Morgan Park, Leslie Dam - they add a massive boost to the town's economy.
"It's a great start and I think we need even more reasons for people to come to Warwick to spend their money."