Model Heng adds to mix

Simone Heng. Picture: Bill Hatto/WA News

Fresh from stints in Dubai and Singapore, Simone Heng has carved out a coveted place as the only female full-time workday announcer on commercial radio in Perth.

Following a reshuffle at Perth's top-rating station Mix 94.5, when long-time host Fred Botica announced his shock resignation earlier this year, Heng was recently bumped up from a casual announcer to the sole anchor for the noon-4pm weekday timeslot.

It is the latest victory for the petite beauty, who has spent the better part of a decade forging a career in foreign markets, where she hosted the No.1 English show on Virgin Radio in Dubai for five years, appeared as the face of HBO Asia, Dove Hair and Ponds Arabia, and became the first non-Caucasian model to front a campaign for legendary French beauty store Sephora.

But despite her experience, Heng admits she did not quite know what to expect when she took up her first formal radio post back home in WA, where she returned after her mother Sandra suffered a stroke last year.

"I think you always wonder when you have been overseas, can you cut it in your own country," the 29-year-old muses to AAA.

"It's also because I had been away for so long, I wondered if I was Australian enough - radio is such a local medium, so you have to talk footy. I have to read up on football like I am studying for my TEE because it is such a big part of the heartbeat of Perth.

"I have attacked the job the way I did when I first moved to Dubai and I learnt about Islam in order to be better at my job there."

While leaving Dubai was a hard call, Heng's decision to build a permanent base in WA was made even easier when she met and fell in love with her Perth-based partner, Jon.

Now more than a month into her new stint on Mix, she has been eagerly learning the ins and outs of her role as announcer, where she single-handedly presents her show plus does all the back-end planning and editing.

It is that technical edge that Heng says has helped her stand out in the male-dominated world of radio.

"I think that is something that deters a lot of women from wanting to do it because these days you are producing and editing your own content," she explains.

"Some people think you come in and turn the microphone on - they don't want to do the hard yards."

In her spare time, Heng is also making waves of another kind with her do-it-yourself blog,, which has a growing global following.

She is due to bring out her own brand of DIY kits next month and says she hopes to encourage Perth women to have fun with their daily outfits.

"If you have some good craft supplies and a bit of a high-fashion eye there is no reason (Perth style) has to be boring, or expensive, at all," Heng says.