APRIL Whiston has been voted the caravan park industry's most
impressive young leader.
General manager of her family-owned 494-site Merool on the Murray caravan
park at Moama in NSW, April received the Future Leaders Award at the
recent Caravan Industry Association of Australia national conference on the Gold
The accolade recognises young people aged under 40 deemed to be destined
to influence the industry in the future.
As the 2017 Future Leader, April receives up to $15,000 towards industry
study or professional development.
She will also have the opportunity to attend a Caravan Industry
Association of Australia national board meeting to observe and provide
input into important industry discussions.
April is the sole founder of Cabin Connect, Australia's newest digital
platform enabling sellers, buyers and manufacturers of holiday and
residential cabins to connect online.
She is also the blogger behind the popular Mrs Caravan Park website.
Future Leader finalists, from
left, Stephen Edwards, Amanda Ferguson, Rob Gallagher, Michael
and Daniel Tilton
As a youth ambassador for the industry, April hopes to establish a
reputable career path for school leavers interested in tourism.
She believes a hands-on training program, accompanied by a structured TAFE
course, would provide skills and experience to youth that would enable
them to enter a growing industry that can afford to pay satisfying
The mother of three young children said she and her husband had enjoyed a
"tumultuous time" in the business.
"To have achieved the things we've achieved and to be recognised with this
award, I'm super proud of us as a team," she said.
"The industry has such a bright future and I couldn't think of a better
industry to be a part of."
She described the other finalists as "passionate, talented and
They were Rob Gallagher (Adventures Group Holdings chief executive),
Daniel Tilton (Next Generation Holiday Parks chief executive), Michael
McIvor (Broken Hill Tourist Park operations manager), Amanda Ferguson
(Discovery Parks investment analysist) and Stephen Edwards (Edwards Group
"Hearing from some great speakers and networking with other young people
in our industry was an invaluable experience," April said.
"I strongly encourage all those under 40 in the caravan industry to come
along in 2018."
April has a university degree majoring in nursing and a post graduate
certificate in wound care and stomal therapy.
Before becoming general manager of the family park three years ago, she
was a clinical nurse specialist.