After winning an art competition that was judged by British hairdressing icon Vidal Sassoon in London, Mandy was offered an apprenticeship with the great man himself! How’s that for a sterling career start? From that moment Mandy was hooked on hairdressing and has a phenomenal 35 years of experience under her belt, including two decades owning and managing salons.

Eight years ago Mandy joined the MIG Training education team and her goals are always to inspire and excite young hairdressers to be the best. Seriously, is there anything this woman doesn’t know about cutting hair? We doubt it to be honest, so we asked her to divulge a few other secrets instead.

Let’s get up close and personal with Leanne, shall we?

Star sign? Taurus

How would your co-workers describe you? Blunt and a little too honest sometimes.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Try not to take things too personally.

Celebrity crush? Slash and Russell Brand


What part of your job would people find most surprising? I think they would be surprised that considering the type of students I teach (disengaged youth), that I learn things from them on a regular basis about how to be a better human being.


What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired? Go on a holiday


Fave food & beverage? Chocolate and coffee


Describe your best weekend. Either relaxing doing nothing or a music festival


Career highlight? I have one every year, seeing my students finally succeeding at something and graduating!


Hair hero? Vidal Sassoon

The era you wish you’d been born in? The mid to late 40s because I would have been a teenager in the 60s for the beehives, mini dresses and the Beatles!

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party, who would they be? Lady Gaga, John Edwards and Prince Harry

What do you love about working at MIG? Everything (except marking)

Fave Netflix binge? At the moment, The Good Place

Last supper? That would be a long list of desserts

What makes you laugh? People falling over. I try not to laugh but I can’t stop myself! 

In five years I’ll be….Older. And still working at MIG!



In 2018 we celebrate six decades in the hairdressing industry and 27 years in business as Matters in Gray Training Organisation…so we figured the MIG H/O was long overdue for a makeover. After months of building work and el capitano Anthony clocking up frequent flyer miles at Bunnings, in September we revealed the shiny new digs to our team, clients and friends!
The renovation of our premises at Upper Mount Gravatt was a complete overhaul that included meeting rooms, breakout and study spaces feeding two large training studios that support the barber and hairdresser education. The biggest wow factor is the new state-of-the-art salon and barber shop, with large street frontage to attract a vibrant and contemporary client base for the emerging apprentices and students at MIG to work with. “The team love coming to work every day in our new stylish, contemporary space that inspires our students, complete with the latest technology to support flexible learning,” Anthony tells. “We are now also able to offer MIG as a community space that can be used by suppliers, educators and salons to hold events.
To celebrate the beautiful new space, around 100 of our friends and clients joined us on Monday 17 September, with an amazing grazing table and bubbles all round. Guests were a mix of salons owners, suppliers, government representatives and industry partners.  We also engaged trainees from Training Direct Australia as our hospitality staff for the event. It was a great night indeed!
During a speech to guests at the soiree, Anthony recapped the principles of MIG.

Our philosophy has always centred around the values of passion, commitment and ethics and we work hard to create long-term relationships with our salon clients,” he said. “MIG Training is proud to deliver tailored apprenticeship training to 320 salons across Queensland and Tasmania. We currently train 490 apprentices and students and proudly graduated 110 hairdressers and barbers in the last 12 months. Many of our salon owners were trained by us as apprentices and now send their own staff to MIG for education. The college remodelling is just the next step in building an industry space and education provider the industry can be proud of. I’d like to personally thank our families, team and salon clients for supporting us throughout this amazing journey and we look forward to working with you all for the next 27 years!”

CLICK HERE to see all the photos from the MIG Launch Party.



As the old saying goes, “you’ve got to be in it to win it”…and it’s exactly the mantra that inspired MIG apprentice Maddison Power from Ella&Jade salon to enter the Hair Expo 2018 Awards. When Maddison was announced as a finalist in this fiercely contested awards category, she couldn’t have been happier, and it opened some amazing opportunities for the young stylist to begin carving her path out in the hair industry.

Team MIG are like proud parents when our apprentices achieve success, so we caught up with Maddison to find out about her Hair Expo Awards journey and how training at Matters in Gray has supported her along the way.

When did you know you wanted to pursue hairdressing?

From a young age I always loved playing with hair and learning new ways to style my hair for school, but it wasn’t until I was almost finished school that I really figured out hairdressing was a genuine pathway I wanted to pursue. My career in hairdressing so far has already been full of so many amazing experiences; I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

Tell us about your salon and how you came about training at Matters in Gray.

My hair salon Ella&Jade is nestled in the quiet suburban streets of Calamvale, south east of Brisbane. Ella&Jade apprentices have been attending and training at Matters in Gray now for more than 10 years, so I was able to follow in the footsteps of the amazing hairdressers I now work with, who were lucky enough to train at MIG during their own apprenticeships.

What have you enjoyed about your MIG education journey?

I enjoyed that going to college and learning was so simplistic. There was no stress and all the trainers are willing to help and guide you in any way they can. I love that MIG works so closely with Ella&Jade, and the training can really be tailored to suit the individual rather than a one-size-fits-all mentality. As well as this, everyone at the College is there for the reason of learning, so the environment is always positive and vibrant. There’s the element of bonding and encouragement from the other students too that make it a lot of fun.

Congratulations on reaching the finals of the Hair Expo 2018 Awards for ‘Apprentice of the Year’! Can you tell us about your experience?

I don’t think I was really ready to hear my name get called out for the finals of Hair Expo Apprentice of the Year. When they said ‘Maddison Power’, my stomach dropped and I felt such a big sense of accomplishment! I really loved working with the other apprentice finalists for the Australian Hairdressing Council’s Youthworx show on the Main Stage at Hair Expo. Being able to present a look from my collection with other upcoming stylists in front of many industry professionals was so surreal.

What did you learn whilst training at MIG that you use most in your salon?

One of the things that I took from Matters In Gray that I always use in the salon is the acknowledgement that you never stop learning. There are always so many ways you are able to achieve something, so as long as you surround yourself with people that push you and support you, your learning will always continue to grow. This is really important in my journey to try and be the best hairdresser I can possibly be.



In hair circles, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years you would be familiar with the upward trajectory of pint-sized pocket rocket Brodie-Lee Stubbins and her salon Rokstar in Brisbane’s cool West End. Apart from her beautiful work, amazing collections and multitude of awards, including recently being crowned Hair Expo 2018 QLD Hairdresser of the Year, Brodie has turned the tables on the bad rep that Gen Y stylists often get by cultivating a culture that embraces their strengths and provides a unique and solid foundation for business and career growth. Here Brodie shares her hairdressing journey with MIG…

MIG: Did you always want to be a hairdresser?

BLS: It was always my dream to be either a hairdresser or a ballerina. I started hairdressing when I was only 13. I begged a local hair salon in my country town to give me a go and would you believe no one thought I was serious! I volunteered for such a long time after school and Saturdays before gaining an apprenticeship, then I was on my way

MIG: What have been some challenges you have had to face on your hairdressing journey? Did you ever think of quitting?

BLS: I’m very goal oriented and a forward thinker; it’s my personality. I was always told I was “too driven” or that my dreams were too big. Coming from a country town rather than a big name salon, not a lot of people believed in me, but the most important thing was that I believed in myself. I purchased my first salon at 18 and three salons later started Rokstar, building my dream salon from scratch. Not long after my journey began with Rokstar, my dad was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. We are an extremely close family, so this was definitely a tough time. I was building a new salon, selling one, plus rebranding all at the same time. When dad passed it was incredibly hard. Sadly he never got to see Rokstar finished, but while he was sick I would spend all my time designing the look of the salon and telling him about it from his bedside. Despite all the challenges, I have never wanted to quit. It’s just not in my nature.

MIG: Despite the flack that Gen Y often cops, you have embraced it and made it the backbone of your business. How did that come about?

BLS: Part of my vision for Rokstar was employing and growing a team of likeminded hairdressers who wanted to be a part of the culture I was creating. Finding the right people isn’t easy and it takes time, but I’m proud of what I have created and the team we have. I’m passionate about helping Gen Y and stylists achieve their goals, particularly through training them to be time efficient on the salon floor and having a wide range of skills, techniques and tricks so they can confidently deliver on trend ‘IT Girl Hair’, which is incredibly in demand and a huge part of our business.

MIG: You have a unique brand in Rokstar – how do you present your business to the consumer?

BLS: Rokstar is all about our clients. We pride ourselves on customer service and making everybody who walks in the door feel special. We are very strong on culture and brand awareness and we are so lucky that word of mouth is our success story. I’d describe our creative handwriting as on trend and a little unique, but at the end of the day, we do beautiful hair and we are consistent.

MIG: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

BLS: ‘Tomorrow is a new day, There’s no point worrying, it will always work out in the end.’  I tell myself this a lot; I try not to sweat the small stuff.

MIG: You’ve had great success over the past few years winning many industry awards. Was it a strategy of yours to be very visible in the awards arena?

BLS: I didn’t have a strategy for the awards, I just wanted to put Rokstar on the radar and show what I love to do. By creating amazing work that I was proud of, I hoped to get noticed and inspire others.

MIG: On that note, what inspires you creatively?

BLS: Anything and everything. I draw inspiration from things I see everyday, from fashion to nature to architecture, whatever is all around me.

MIG: Who are your favourite style stars and hair industry heroes?

BLS: Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Bec Judd…I love their style. When it comes to hair industry heroes there are way too many to name, but Guido Palau, Eugene Souleiman and Angelo Seminara are my biggest international faves.

MIG: What do you like to do outside of hairdressing?

BLS: I love to dance, Barre and Pilates are my faves. Sweating out in a good dance session feeds my soul, and the ballet barre is the one place I switch off. I also love my home. I have a massive passion for interiors and like to relax at home with my fur babies and my husband Bill. I enjoy reading anything on psychology…the brain and business really interests me. Other than that, my fave thing to do is be in the sun by a pool or the beach.

MIG: What advice would you give to young people who look up to you in the industry?

BLS: My advice is work hard and don’t give up. Stay back without being asked, volunteer your time to show initiative and give it your all. Success doesn’t happen overnight – it’s bloody hard work – but if you work at it every day, the journey is magical.

MIG: Where do you see yourself in five years time?

BLS: Still at Rokstar #KILLINGIT!



The Hair Expo Awards ‘Salon Design of the Year’ category is always fiercely contended, now more than ever. Unlike the sterile white shiny fitouts that were popular years back, salon aesthetics these days are as diverse as the attendees of a United Nations conference. Industrial, boho, hi-tech or eco-inspired, whatever your design preference, there is sure to be a stunning salon to suit your mood.

So amongst some pretty (stunning actually) tough competition this year, Team MIG were thrilled to congratulate our long term clients Rixon Hair for taking out the Best Salon Design 2018 award at Hair Expo back in June. We caught up with owner Sharon Rixon to find out about the journey from old salon to this sparkling new ‘award winning’ one…and how she and husband Brad felt when their name was called out on Awards night.

“We decided to embark on a new build for the salon because we literally were falling over each other,” Sharon tells. “We desperately needed more room, plus it was also a chance to rebrand and refresh. We wanted a flexible, creative space that had an unpretentious feel of luxury. ‘Somewhere you could picture yourself living in’ was the creative brief for our building designer.”

Situated in Edward Street, Brisbane, the salon is located within a heritage building, which provided both challenges and surprises along the way. Despite the restrictions placed on any heritage build, Sharon says the demolition process actually unveiled many beautiful original features that had previously been hidden. “Having to crane larger items into the building was a challenge,” she adds, “plus working in a tight time frame – being ready a week before Christmas – was also pretty stressful.”

When asked if the project came in at budget, Sharon’s response says it all: “Not by a long shot!” But it seems as though the journey was worth it in the end. The beautiful salon has many ‘wow’ elements – glistening dusty pink floors, sand blasted brick walls, oversized custom framed styling mirrors, a large bespoke colour area with open colour bar and table…the list goes on and on. “We had so many changes along the way,” Sharon says, “but honestly, we love it so much we wouldn’t change a thing. I think my favourite part is the indescribable feeling of calm the 280m2 space gives. Oh, and the pink floors of course!”

Sharon’s advice for salon owners considering a new build for their beloved business? “Align yourself with the best possible people, especially a great architect/builder, and make them understand your brand and aesthetic. Also, set a budget and then double it!”

Winning the Hair Expo Best Salon Design Award was pretty much the icing on the cake for the Rixon team, who were simultaneously shocked and excited to hear their name announced at the Hair Expo Awards. “Brad and I both choked on our dinner!” she laughs, “then we had to think of a speech super quickly. We were so thrilled to win!”

Congratulations Rixon Hair on such great results!



This month we’d like to introduce you to one of MIG’s favourite teachers, Leanne Beasley. Launching into hairdressing at 16, Leanne’s widespread experience in the industry includes extended periods as a salon manager and owner. Being an important member of our RTO as an educator for 14 years, Leanne’s role at MIG entails not only apprenticeship training, but also developing relationships with a broad scope of salons and their owners.

Leanne loves connecting with her salon clients each week and seeing new products, services and techniques. She says she finds advising and assisting salons to develop and improve in-salon training systems “incredibly rewarding”.

Let’s get up close and personal with Leanne, shall we?

Star sign? Libra

How would your co-workers describe you? Reliable, organised, loyal, calm.

What part of your job would people find most surprising? That we train and assess students in salons, not just at the College.

Celebrity crush? Tom Hiddleston

Your best weekend? North Straddie

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Follow your heart…but take your brain with you!

Fave Netflix binge? So far The Crown

The era you wish you’d been born in? My era! I was born in the 60s and I think growing up in the 70s was the best – great music, muscle cars, centre parts with flicked out hair, the Brady Bunch, surfie boys and lots of carbs!

Hair hero? This is hard…but I’m going to say my past employer/trainer Beverley Patterson. Still working, travelling the world and absolutely passionate about hairdressing!

I’m obsessed by… everything being in its place!

What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired? Listen to music, see or do something creative.

Last supper? French cheese and French champagne

Worst hair faux pas? Pretty much all of the 80s lol

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party, who would they be? Frances McDormand, Meghan and Harry

Fave pet? My big Tabby Boy (cat)

What will you be doing on your birthday? Camping and eating birthday cake I hope!

Fave song to carve up the dance floor? Anything from my Redfoo playlist

What do you love about working at MIG? Visiting my students and employers, being in the salons feeling the salon vibe….and seeing my students progress.

In five years I’ll be…. hmmm, Bali is always a good idea!