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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

April Hélène-Horton

Each afternoon, when April clocks off from her leadership role in corporate communications, she transforms into Act Two of her professional life.

After 5pm, she’s the wildly popular body-positive activist and public speaker The Bodzilla. A beacon for body acceptance and fat positivity, April is on a mission to create change: whether that’s from the stage or on TV or radio, or from her spare bedroom.

Her online influence extends across the world to tens of thousands of followers, and it’s growing.

The chance to throw herself into dual professional roles is something April says would be harder to achieve living anywhere else.

“It’s a shift in energy,” she says.

You’re stripping away those corporate layers, feeling a bit more fancy, jushing it up a bit and being a little more authentic.

“It’s something I’m able to do because I can get home from work a little bit more quickly here.

“I chill out in the car on the drive home and I’m ready to take on Bodzilla things.”

Those “Bodzilla things” include frequent appearances on national television and radio, interviews for the media, guest spots in prominent national thought panels – here in Canberra and interstate – and amplifying other people’s voices.

She finds time here for both aspects of her career, and for collecting her young son from school, wandering home via the playground, pottering in her garden and making tacos for the neighbours.

“The biggest myth about Canberra is that it’s boring and that we’re boring. I think the idea that we’re mostly political, talking about dry subjects is simply not true. We’re fun, we’re interesting, we’re ‘woke’ and that’s okay,” April says.

Originally from Goulburn, NSW, April and her filmmaker husband Michael moved to Canberra after commuting for seven years.

She describes the opportunities she’s had working in Canberra as “incredibly different” from the region where she grew up.

“While there’s lots of great business and commerce in our regions, in Canberra there are more opportunities to progress and get promoted,” she says.

You can do really incredible work that’s meaningful to people not just where you are, but everywhere.”

It was a fellow Canberran who inspired April to create The Bodzilla brand three years ago. With a focus on bringing about positive, inclusive change, April has found a receptive audience here.

“In an epicentre of culture like Canberra, there are a lot of people who are really ready to take on a very different and broader viewpoint, to have an open mind,” April says.

That incredible, open-minded and welcoming community I’ve found in Canberra is really special.

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