Prior to joining CQUni’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM), Nicole Thomson spent 20 years travelling the world and singing professionally with a capella sextet, The Song Company. Over the years she’s been head-hunted by singing and musical organisations both nationally and internationally, including Musica Viva and Sydney Children’s Choir – yet for the past six years she’s chosen to call North Queensland home. Throughout her career, Ms Thomson has performed in 18 countries and in more than 30 different languages.
What is your first memory?
I don’t think in pictures, so this is a hard one, but my first childhood story was when I was in Grade 2, and had run in a school race, come last, and ran up to my mother and triumphantly stated, ‘I didn’t win, Mum, but I did my best!’ (Sadly with athletics, the story has not changed!)
Are you a CQUni Alumni? If so, what did you graduate in?
Yes, I graduated with the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary and Adult Education in 2017 and am currently undertaking a Masters degree.
What was a recent highlight in your life?
I was awarded the 2018 Distance Educator of the Year award from CQUniversity. What an honour.
What is the best thing about being at CQUni?
I love the opportunity of being able to pass on the skills that I’ve learned as I’ve travelled the world performing and helping our students understand that you can still have a profitable career even if you are from a regional area.
Who has made an impact on your life? Why?
My grandparents, Sir Albert Abbott CBE and Lady Gwendoline Abbott were a large influence on my life. From them, I learned to appreciate everyone in every position, that politeness is never wasted and that it is your choice whether you are content with life, or not. They were a gracious couple who helped shape Mackay and kept it moving forward.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I am still an active performer, so I do some rehearsals and other projects when they arise around the country, and I also am the Musical Director and conductor of the Mackay Choral Society Inc., so that keeps me rather busy. I would also like to establish an International Choral Festival, as I have some choirs from other countries that would like to come and work with me.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would ask people to do two things – to be grateful and to perform one random act of kindness each day.
What’s the biggest way a student has inspired you?
I have been inspired by the sheer tenacity of some students who struggle to break through in some way, but refuse to give up as they fight. They do make it, by the way, but sometimes it takes a while.
What is a motto or phrase that you live by?
Slow and steady wins the race – but fast and quick is better! (Thank-you Gran!)
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I have been fortunate to work with some celebrities such as Russell Crowe and Jessica Mauboy. I have also performed for Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and the Royal family of Malaysia (Alor Star region).