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    Three composite images: White cards lined up in a parking lot; a man posing in front of his white car with a bridge in the background; a group of eight people posing around a white car.
    Dylan Cassidy Woods and the team from Gympie Medical Transport Inc. Photographs: PPQ.

    Passion on a plate: two Queenslanders on the stories behind their unique number plates

    Dylan Cassidy Woods and the team from Gympie Medical Transport Inc. Photographs: PPQ.

    Queenslanders tend to think outside the box - and love broadcasting their individuality on their cars

    Brisbane resident Dylan Cassidy Woods – also known as Bin Chicken – has garnered his fair share of recognition thanks to his passion for the Australian bird.

    It all started with his distinctive plates, BIN CHKN, which have earned him a local following as well as a new nickname. But Woods says the bird found him, rather than the other way around.

    “I wanted personalised plates and was kind of stumped for ideas, so one day I was scrolling on Instagram and found a local artist who had done an amazing piece of art featuring a bin chicken,” Woods says.

    Man posing in front of his white car holding an artwork featuring an ibis bird perched on top of a rubbish bin.

    Inspired, he typed the letters into the Create-A-Plate combination checker on the Personalised Plates Queensland (PPQ) website. The results revealed that this number plate combination was there for the taking. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s available’.”

    Less than 24 hours later, Woods was the proud owner of new bin chicken-inspired number plates – and he bought the piece of art, too. Since then, he’s developed a following among the community in his home suburb of Newstead.

    “As soon as I put them on, I was driving down the road and I looked in my mirror and I saw a passenger taking a photo,” he says. The attention hasn’t stopped since.

    “Every day there is a strong reaction. Every day someone is taking a picture.”

    Woods says Queenslanders have a soft spot for the white ibis, the real name of the bird that many people fondly refer to as the bin chicken.

    “The way we show affection for someone is by giving them a nickname, and the bin chicken is no different,” Woods says.

    The same is true for Woods himself; even his colleagues have taken to calling him Bin Chicken.

    “I embraced it,” he says. “I bought some bin chicken stickers and stuck them on my hard hat at work.”

    Woods has had his plates for about a year, and says he has no plans to part with them.

    “Personalised plates let your personality shine through,” he says. “It makes the car more your own. The added benefit of this combination is that it makes people smile.

    “The bin chicken is extremely iconic. They’re little Aussie battlers, forced out of their habitat, and let’s face it, they’ve adapted to city life better than most of us have.”

    Country style

    Life outside of the city isn’t always easy, either. Especially when medical services are hours away, and public transport is limited. Fortunately, there are people willing to improve the lives of others.

    In the regional town of Gympie, a small fleet of white cars with black and gold plates is instantly recognisable to the close-knit community.

    The striking plates, which all start with GMT, tell the locals that Gympie Medical Transport Inc is hard at work shuttling residents to and from medical appointments.

    Ten people posing around a parked white car.

    Established by local residents Bev Goodall and Sally Carkeet in early 2021, the volunteer-run organisation provides a personalised non-emergency medical transport service operating within the Gympie Regional Council community.

    “Gympie had a reduction in services at the local hospital and there is no easily accessible public transport to get out of Gympie, so it’s difficult for residents to get to medical appointments easily,” Carkeet says.

    “One of our clients told us it took her four hours to get to where she needed to go, using trains and buses. Four hours to get to an appointment, then four hours home, that’s a real problem.”

    GMT started with two leased vehicles and 15 volunteers, and during its first six months of operation, took local residents to 275 appointments.

    Thanks to fundraising, donations and government grants, GMT has since grown to nine cars – all with personalised plates, ranging from GMT 111 to GMT 999. It’s proved a popular service, with more than 600 trips taking place over the past six months.

    “Most of our cars drive 25,000 kilometres per month, and we’ve serviced more than 1,000 clients,” Carkeet says. “We have 65 volunteers, and our personalised plates ensure they feel great pride in driving those cars.”

    GMT’s stylish plates have been noticed by other businesses seeking ways to make their services more recognisable within their communities.

    “The personalised plates make our cars easily recognisable, they make us look uniform – a nice fleet,” Carkeet says. “It’s wonderful what it does for the community. People drive along and see our cars, they know what we do, and the community really appreciate it.”

    The options are endless when it comes to personalised plates by PPQ, with a range of colour and letter combinations available.

    To find out how you can express yourself through plates, visit Personalised Plates Queensland.