April Hayes Dickson
What’s your link to Townsville?
I came to Townsville in 1984 as a Marketing and Promotions Consultant to assist radio station 4AY undergo a major image change. When I got off the plane the humidity made my mascara drip onto the tarmac as I struggled to spot my luggage on the tractor-drawn cart. But somewhere along the car trip between The Strand and the Townsville International I caught the Far North Queensland bug. I decided to have a crack at the upcoming local TV station auditions because I’d been on camera in WA television. I became the TNQ Weather Presenter and daytime host of a Tuesday live chat show called The Today Show, which became 2.30 Live until about 1988. Being in my 30s I was ancient in terms of the trend towards younger women on TV. I used to bill myself as the ‘World’s Oldest Weather Girl’.
Where are you now?
After Townsville I worked in marketing and PR in Sydney where I married my Kiwi-born husband, John, who was an Advertising Creative Director. A couple of years ago we retired and moved to New Zealand where we still operate our small marketing communication consultancy Out Of Their Minds. We have a recording studio at home and work with a handful of advertising clients and radio networks internationally. (We have 10 acres of rural heaven overlooking the often snow-capped Kakanui Range on the banks of a river.)
What’s your next project?
It should be retirement and renovating our barn-style house but we’re always coming up with random ideas like holding concerts on our bottom paddocks along the creek. Plus, I teach ballet to the local community as a hobby and might expand that regionally so anything could happen.
How did your time in Townsville set you up for success?
I was taken by the complete lack of pretension. It refocused my ideals.