The Australian Hairdressing Council welcomes the video series REALITY BITES. This is a weekly release of short videos covering everything you need to know when running your business. Experts from all around Australia and beyond give tips and tricks for salon success. MIG’s very own Anthony Gray has a short video covering Progressing Apprentices. Enjoy!



In case you missed it, Hair Biz magazine had an amazing article called” THE NEW CREATIVES” which dives deeper into Caitlyn McMillians journey to Ella & Jade and how it all started at with a YMCA school program and ended in a full time apprenticeship at the prestigious boutique salon in Algester.



MIG were lucky enough to catch up with Gavin Hinton from Freedom Suites and find out all about his Luxury hair and beauty spaces at Freedom Suites in Paddington Brisbane.

Recently Freedom Suites has opened at a new location in Stones Corner with 19 beautifully furnished lux suites up and running. Gavin is not slowing down and has plans to expand even further with Everton Plaza opening in Jan 2020 and then expanding down to the Gold Coast in the near future.




It’s the salon with the crazy name…Horse Meat Disco Salon…which is actually owner Mikey Forster’s favourite London DJ as well as the brand of his beautiful boutique salon in Stones Corner. Since entering the Brisbane hair scene in 2012 and growing organically over the past seven years, today the Disco team sits at 12 and is a creative collective of passionate and talented stylists who completely love what they do.

As a new generation young salon owner, Mikey had a strong vision for what he wanted to present to the marketplace when it came to launching his own brand. A business that was cool and edgy, but never pompous or elitist. A welcoming hub for individuals seeking quality yet attainable hair. A playground to showcase creative aptitude upon a foundation of exceptional education and technical skills. A fun, family-like culture with outstanding client service. A salon where hairdressers loved to work and grow. A destination to BE, not to be seen.

Sticking true to his vision, the Disco (as it is affectionately known) has a sterling reputation amongst industry and clients alike. Education plays an important role, with Mikey holding the role as an Australian Colour Ambassador for Wella Professionals in Australia and New Zealand and also being one of the youngest members of Wella’s exclusive Colour Club amongst some of the industry’s finest hairdressers. His own professional development and that of his team is paramount in keeping themselves ahead of the game.

“Education is how we all grow as professionals,” Mikey tells. “I pay for all of my team’s education and I’m happy to do so, as I know it’s progressing them in their careers, plus our clients and team members are benefiting from their knowledge as well. This year I flew one of my team members to the Sassoon Academy in LA and I’ve put another stylist through the DCI Mentor Program. I’m actually attending the Not Another Academy program at MIG later this year too. These are just a few of the educational platforms we invest in.”

Mikey takes a holistic approach to education to keep his team happy and motivated. “We recently just had a wellness day at the salon that involved Dario Cotroneo coming to do a presentation on hair psychology and consultations, then we went to Total Fusion at Newstead and did a beautiful VinYin style yoga class. It’s important to look after ourselves and our minds, so doing something like this I find very helpful for the whole team. It also creates a great team environment.”

Horse Meat Disco Salon has been working with MIG Training since February 2017. The salon has signed off three apprentices and currently has two more enrolled at the college. “We left our previous RTO as the communication we had with them was zero and the content the apprentices were getting taught we felt was dated,” Mikey says. “Since changing to MIG our training is on track and we work closely to ensure that together, we are helping our apprentices as best as possible.”

MIG’s relationship with its salon clients is very much a partnership. Bespoke education programs are created to suit the apprentice as well as the salon schedule and can be a mix of college and in-salon training depending on each business’s requirements.

“My directors and I have recently created a full training schedule from start to finish for our junior stylists,” explains Mikey. “We work very closely alongside MIG to ensure we are both on the same page with training and how the apprentices are progressing. For example, we will work on solid form for approximately three weeks in in-salon training, then once deemed competent, we move them on to the next stage. If they are stars and they are competent quicker, then we progress them faster. We don’t hold anyone back.”

When it comes to looking for apprentices, Mikey says he’d choose personality over skill every time. “Finding an apprentice at the moment is the hardest it’s been for me since I opened the doors seven years ago. I’m looking for someone with an outstanding personality, and that can be tough. It’s our job to make you an amazing hairdresser, but I can’t give you a better personality or make you fit in with the team more smoothly. I have two apprentices at the moment and both of them are mature age. It costs me more, but what they bring to the salon is life experience, knowledge on how to work hard and common sense.”

So what advice would Mikey have for salons to optimise their relationship and outcomes with their chosen apprenticeship provider?

“Flexibility and communication! What we love about MIG is that we were able to take training into our own hands and do it (mostly) ourselves under their guidance. Every Tuesday evening we have in salon training nights for all of our juniors. We work closely with MIG and reference our training plan so that we are working on the same things around the same time. Once a month or so, Nicole from MIG will come to the salon and assess the team on what they have been working on. We love the way this works for the salon and couldn’t think of a better way to be training or with a better RTO!”

Mikey and his long term team member Darby hosted an up-close-and-personal colour workshop called ‘Creating a Disco Queen’ in October, showcasing four signature Disco colour techniques to nine enthusiastic attendees. They had a look’n’learn session in the morning and a hands-on session in the afternoon, where the duo helped the students to create their own Signature Disco looks on their models. According to Mikey, the feedback was incredibly positive…which no doubt means there’ll be more Disco education on the cards in 2020.

And why not? We all need a little more Disco in our lives, don’t you agree?



She’s vivacious, she’s funny and she’s also a world of knowledge when it comes to making salon businesses work. So we are thrilled to welcome the wonderful Lisa Conway to MIG Training on Tuesday 3rd September from 6pm to share her secrets on how to elevate your salon retail sales. And best of all, this seminar is 100% FREE

At this special event, Lisa will explain how client loyalty is directly connected to retail sales. “Building rapport with your clients builds trust,” she explains. “You don’t need to SELL, just TELL them what you know!”

People buy from and return to those they know and trust – don’t we all? During her seminar Lisa shows you how to build that trust – and fast!

Founder of The ZING Project, author of The Naked Salon, Your Salon Team, Your Salon Retail and an inspirational keynote speaker, Lisa is passionate about taking salon teams everywhere from good to great. She knows the core business skills that most hair and beauty professionals were never taught, which can make all the difference. She learned the hard way – through trial and error – and she worked out how to make things work. 

Seats to this FREE seminar are STRICTLY LIMITED, so book your place NOW by calling MIG Training on (07) 3349 6538 or email info@migtraining.com.au

Date:              Tuesday 3 September 2019
Time:             6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue:           MIG Training Organisation
Cost:              FREE

For more information on the MIG Education Calendar as well as our apprentice training, barber training, school based training, hairdresser training, THE CRAFT teacher training and refresher short courses visit: https://www.migtraining.com.au



Due to popular demand, the PILOROO Salon Assistant training program is coming to Queensland – and we are so excited that as Piloroo partners, MIG Training will be the host! We are holding an information evening on Monday 9 September with Piloroo founders Clive Allwright and Kelly Kent, who will let you know how Piloroo works and answer all of your questions.

In case you are not familiar with the Piloroo Salon Assistant Training Program, the aim is to provide salons with an extra pair of helping hands via a fully trained salon assistant who can be casually hired at times of need via the Piloroo website.

The salon assistants are given two days of hands-on training in a hair salon and/or hair salon training academy (ie MIG Training), where they are taught how to shampoo, massage, greet and manage salon clients, clean and tidy. They are also given an optional day of mentoring in a real salon to build their skills and get work ready. Approved graduates are listed on Piloroo.com so whenever your salon needs some additional support in salon, perhaps during staff holidays or busy periods, all you need to do is book them via the website and presto, your extra set of hands is on standby and ready to go!

Piloroo is also looking for QLD salons to mentor the new Piloroo Assistants on Wednesday 11 September. This will involve a Piloroo Assistant coming to your Salon for the day. Please email kelly@piloroo.com and Kelly can send you some more information on this part of the program.

Date:             Monday 9 September 2019
Time:             6.00pm – 7.30pm
Venue:           MIG Training Organisation
Cost:              FREE

To book your seat at this FREE Piloroo information seminar, CLICK HERE.

For more information on the MIG Education Calendar as well as our apprentice training, barber training, school based training, hairdresser training, THE CRAFT teacher training and refresher short courses visit: https://www.migtraining.com.au



Since Day 1 MIG Training has been associated with the Sunshine Pro Series hairdressing and barbering competitions at the Brisbane Hair & Beauty Expo – that’s five years now and two years for the barbering comps – and it has become one of our favourite events of the year! Over time it has grown to be an incredible showcase of current and future industry talent, supported by the best of Brisbane’s hairdressing community.

This year’s event on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th July attracted more than 140 contestants competing across hairdressing, barber and online photographic categories over a jam-packed two day schedule. Both the apprentice and senior sections were heavily favoured, particularly the live hair competition arena, which gave stylists and barbers of all levels the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a live audience. From cutting and colour through to upstyling and avant garde, there truly was something for everyone on show. And with an amazing prize pool of cash up for grabs from the event’s generous sponsors, we knew the competition would be as fierce as it was fabulous!

To say that MIG’s involvement in the BHBE event is a team effort is quite the understatement. The competitions continue to grow and flourish each year under the careful management of Nicole Gislingham, who along with team MIG start work on the event around four months out. Nicole coordinates and organises the barber and hairdressing competitions and liaises with event boss Jason and his colleagues Rebecca and Grace from the Major League team, so is basically up to her eyeballs in phone calls, spreadsheets and prize collections as the weeks turn into days until the event kicks off. On Saturday we pack up the MIG salon and equipment and transfer it by truck to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre so we can have everything set up and ready to go for the big day.

When the doors open on Sunday morning all the MIG crew have their dedicated roles and responsibilities. Laura mans the microphone on stage for the hairdressing segments whilst Davide is the MC for the barbering comps. Anthony schmoozes with the salons and participants and Nicole finds lost competitors and last minute styling tools to support the entrants. The energy is one of excitement and nerves as the creative juices flow.

Some of the most memorable moments? The barber and his model relaxing over coffee in the cafe, having no idea that the barbering competition was being held up for him whilst he was MIA. And Tognini’s Joshua Congreve, who laid his model on the floor so he could sew his handcrafted headpiece onto her avant garde ‘do. Oh the life of a creative!

We were super proud of MIG’s Tracey Ronlund, a quiet achiever at MIG College who always gets her work done without a fuss and never complains about anything. Tracey prepped hair for three full days under Neil’s guidance and support and was rewarded with a well-deserved win in the Futuristic Colour Apprentice category. Another highlight were the young girls chosen to be a part of Laura Macleod’s Rising Stars Team, who despite being so new to the industry, worked incredibly hard and produced work as good as any seniors we’d seen when they presented their show on stage. Emily Rodger from Ella & Jade said it took her four hours to complete her hairstyle – now that’s dedication! “The girls were an absolute pleasure to work with,” said Laura. “For their very first main stage show they were impeccably prepared and very calm throughout the whole process. They are so lucky to have incredible salons that are supporting their career dreams.” We couldn’t agree more Laura!

Once the event was done and dusted, it was time for team MIG to kick back and relax with a wine or two and reflect on the massive two days of high energy and hair that was BHBE. The vibe of the whole Expo and competitions was one of gratitude and fun. We would like to thank the broader hairdressing and barbering community for getting along and showing so much support and appreciation to everyone who competed as well as our esteemed panel of judges who gave up their valuable time. Finally, to Jason and the Major League team, whose commitment to providing a platform for industry to shine is incredibly dedicated, thank you for taking the risk to showcase the best this great industry has to offer.

CLICK HERE for a list of all the winners and place getters across the weekend. Congratulations to everyone who entered and we look forward to seeing you at the Brisbane Hair & Beauty Expo in 2020!



If you need a little dose of motivation and #inspo in your life right now, here is one seminar you’ll be mad to miss. And best of all, it’s absolutely FREE!

Dario Cotroneo is one of the country’s leading hairdressing educators and travels Australia and the world teaching thousands of students and sharing his passion for our industry. Dario is all about being grateful, and one way of giving back to the industry that he says “was so generous in providing me with my incredible career” is to conduct inspiring education seminars free of charge, just like this one coming up at MIG Training.

Dario has generously offered his time to inspire and motivate our students, teachers and clients on TUESDAY 20 AUGUST from 10.30am – 12.30pm, where he will present an inspirational one hour video on why hairdressing is an amazing career, narrated and produced by current and twice awarded British Hairdresser of the Year Sally Brooks. This video is a fascinating way to connect students to the big picture of where hairdressing can take them as a brilliant career path.

Following the video presentation, Dario will demonstrate a beautiful haircut, showcasing his editorial cutting approach to hairdressing, and talk about the skills and rewards you can acquire with hard work and dedication. To conclude, he will also share news about the DCI Education 2020 scholarship (valued at $2600) and how students can apply for this amazing opportunity. 

Seats to this FREE seminar are STRICTLY LIMITED, so book your place NOW by calling MIG Training on (07) 3349 6538 or email info@migtraining.com.au



From a very young age, Elle Schoemaker had a genuine interest in hairdressing. She entered the industry through a school-based apprenticeship and started building the skills that formed the foundation of her future as a hairdresser. However it was when she joined Stelios Papas Toowong in 2010 that the trajectory we see Elle travel today truly began.

The last 12 months have been a whirlwind of awards and achievements for Elle. She received finalist accolades in the Australian Hair Industry Awards, Australian Hair Fashion Awards and also Hair Expo. Winning the 2019 AHIA Salon Stylist of the Year award and also becoming a member of the 2019 Hot Shots Team were amazing accomplishments and really the icing on the cake for Elle…but hey, the year’s not over yet so who knows what else she comes up with!

“I flourished under the guidance of industry legend, Stelios Papas,” Elle explains about her early hairdressing days. “My persistent nature and dedication to my craft were the catalyst for the

precision cutting style that I developed. With continued education and professional development, I progressed within the salon to my current role as Salon Director plus Stylist and Cutting Educator.”

“I have assisted my colleagues and mentors by styling a number of their industry award submissions and photo shoots. With this experience I developed the courage to step into the limelight myself. Recently, I began building my own industry profile and accolades. I thrive in the familiar salon environment; however our industry holds endless opportunities that I’m excited to explore. I believe that true success lies outside the boundaries of my comfort zone.”

With Elle so obviously on fire professionally, we thought we’d ask her for some tips and advice on how young hairdressers can really succeed in the industry. Joining a salon that offers ongoing quality training is naturally a big bonus, as is receiving all the support you need to achieve your goals and aspirations. Combine those with a big dose of drive and motivation and you will certainly be on your way!

“I certainly don’t feel like I have reached my full potential yet! Our industry is alive with opportunities and I always strive to continue to learn and evolve my skills to see where they take me. The establishment of the independent training program that I conduct with Kristie Kesic, Flawless Education, gives me a platform to share my passion with other hair stylists. I love expanding my reach through education and investing in growing in-salon talent. It’s very rewarding to play a part in the development and growth of other stylists.

Elle Schoemaker’s top tips for success:

1. Work with purpose.
No matter what your role within the salon is, you ARE important. We are all part of a big, working mechanism and we all rely on each other. Whatever task is at hand, do it with purpose and carry out each duty, job and detail with pride. Even with a small responsibility such as sweeping the floor, your commitment to performing that task well will flow into other aspects of your career.

2. Know your craft.
Ongoing education is vital to a successful career in our industry, as it is always changing. Plus, with knowledge comes confidence! The best way to build a loyal clientele is to have the ability to apply each skill or technique with purpose and know that you will achieve your desired result.

3. Say YES!
Immersing yourself in industry events and opportunities is rewarding on so many levels. Yes, sometimes these events may be volunteer roles, or on your own time, but the potential for industry networking, skill growth and personal development is invaluable.

4. Be a cheerleader.
I was introduced to competition and creative work through assisting and supporting my boss Kristie! Not only can it open doors, but also being supportive of your peers means their success is shared success. Even if you are cheering from afar, when someone achieves success through work that you genuinely admire and appreciate, it feels good!

5. Hustle, then go home.
I am a big believer in work-life balance. To make the time you spend at work count, make sure you value your personal time just as much. Investing energy into your friends, family and yourself will reflect through your individuality and enthusiasm at work.



As an RTO we are well placed to see the success of salons that have a strong internal training culture and have a systematic way the practical skills training is delivered to all stylists. Conversely we see the impact that time pressure, staffing issues and the strains placed on running a salon business has on training and building productivity. 

At MIG we identified that whilst the education options available to salons has never been more exciting, there is little in the way of education for salon owners, seniors and mentors in how to train and develop their staff.

To address this problem, earlier this year MIG Training launched THE CRAFT, a FREE ‘train the trainer’ education package exclusively for MIG salon clients that encompasses a blend of hands-on workshops and video tutorials for in salon trainers and seniors in charge of building the skills of their salon team. “While our day job is the education of apprentices, what happens at College is a very small part of building excellent Hairdressers and Barbers of the future,” tells MIG CEO Anthony Gray. “An apprenticeship is a true partnership, so investing in the salons we work with creates industry dividends where everyone is a winner.” 

The aim of this professional development program is to refine salon educators’ cutting and training skills and also teach them a few trends and new tricks so that they can keep ahead of the education game and produce outstanding results for their team.The program was introduced as an additional service to MIG salon clients but also to extend the training that MIG conducts with its apprentices back to the whole salon team so that what is taught and the methodology are consistent and fluid. “Our observations with our salon clients over the years indicated that they are so busy training their salon teams that they forget about their own professional development,” Anthony continues. “THE CRAFT is essential for all in salon trainers, mentors and seniors who are responsible for training emerging stylists and building the skills of the team.”

Included in THE CRAFT program are the fundamental building blocks that make up the craft of cutting – solid, layered and graduation – presented in one of three full day workshops at MIG Training in March, July and November. Participants also receive full access to MIG’s Employer Lounge’, which includes access to a suite of online education resources to develop those conducting the training in the salon and to support training delivery to the whole salon team. The Employer Lounge includes online video tutorials and step-by-step CUT101 learning resources.


The first CRAFT workshop held in March received fantastic feedback. In addition to the fundamental building blocks of cutting, the workshop focused on how to train apprentices and junior staff in order to create great stylists. Additionally, all participants were provided access to a full suite of step-by-step cutting videos and glossy Learners Guides to use as training resources in the salon.


Here’s what some of the participants had to say:


‘The Craft is excellent. It explains where the apprentices are coming from.’


‘It was great to revisit the foundations and understand how to deliver the basic structures.’


‘Highly recommended for anyone who has a training role in the salon.’


‘Very clear and easy to understand. Definitely can take away a lot and share with the salon. Thank you!’


‘Great to get back to basics and learn the terminology. Thank you for sharing your learning resources.’


DON’T MISS OUT! Spots in our upcoming CRAFT sessions on 8 July and 25 November are filling fast, so if you haven’t secured your spot, do so NOW by booking HERE.


We have also been busy filming some more cutting videos for the MIG Employer Lounge. Here’s a sneak preview of The Steph and The Chloe.


You can also read the great article about THE CRAFT in the latest issue of HairBiz HERE.




We’ve all heard the old saying you need to crawl before you can walk…but did you know that the same rules apply when it comes to colour work? One lady who waxes lyrical about exactly this is the amazingly talented Kristie Kesic, a multi-award winning colour maestro, who will be conducting a full day class on the fundamentals of colour and balayage at MIG Training on Monday 12 August.

Kristie is the owner and director of Stelios Papas Toowong, a guest artist for Wella and also a member of its elite Colour Club. When it comes to awards, Kristie and her team have a score of accolades under their belts, this year alone reaching the finals in the Australian Hair Fashion Awards, Australian Hair Industry Awards and also Hair Expo for Colour Technician of the Year and Salon Team.

Kristie has recently launched her bespoke in-salon colour education program Flawless Colour, abespoke in-salon training platform that highlights the importance of mastering fundamental colour skills before striving for more advanced techniques. And it’s this subject precisel that Kristie will be covering in her full day workshop. “I will demonstrate how mastering the basics of our craft is essential for a strong skill set, “ Kristie explains. “Perfecting these foundation skills is an integral part of successfully servicing and satisfying your salon clientele. In particular, participants will discover the opportunity that foiling confidence can have on a business’ success.”

  • The importance of consultation
  • Why it is important to personalise your colour services
  • Why technique and precision are everything
  • Why you should embrace foiling
  • Salon relevant looks used every single day in the salon

  • How to create a platinum blonde look with foils
  • Multi-dimensional blondes
  • Natural blondes
  • Foil techniques and patterns to suit every haircut


  • A love for fundamentals
  • An appreciation for in salon work
  • An array of foiling techniques you can incorporate into your salon work

Colour and Balayage Fundamentals with Kristie Kesic

Date: Monday 12 August 2019

Time: Full day, lunch and head block provided

Level: Apprentices and those wishing to master their colour fundamentals

Class size: Maximum 12

Location: MIG Training

Investment: $185

Places are strictly limited.



Fat Boy Slim says We’ve come a long long way together…and we couldn’t agree more! 2019 has been a huge year for MIG Training already, with an abundant library of new training resources and videos, the launch of THE CRAFT teacher training program and so much more.

But the icing on the cake so far has definitely been opening up the package that contained the chocolate golden ticket from Hair Expo to announce that MIG Training was a finalist in the Education Business of the Year category at this year’s Hair Expo awards! It’s a real compliment to all of us at MIG that what we are doing is being recognised by the industry and esteem judging panel as progressive and market relevant and that we are helping to shift the education goal posts in a positive way.

We are honoured to be in the presence of our fellow finalists – Sharon Blain Education, Barbery the Craft of a Barber, Box Hill Institute and DCI Education – and whilst we’d LOVE to win this amazing accolade, we would like to wish all of the entrants the best of luck of Monday 10thJune on Awards night.

Reaching a milestone like this is not the work of one person; it’s a small army in fact. A huge thank you to the MIG team, every day you go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of our students and salon partners.

To our salon clients, well we wouldn’t be here without your support. We relish working with each and every one of you, many of whom we’ve had relationships with for several years, even decades in some cases. Thank you for entrusting your teams with us and we hope to continue to carve out unique training paths for you and contribute to the success of your businesses.

And to our amazing students, thank you for inspiring and challenging us each day. Just as we teach you, we also learn from you, and your feedback and successes provide us with the knowledge required to keep improving our systems and the way MIG delivers education. Some of our former apprentices are now salon owners themselves and continue the MIG training cycle, which is pretty special too.

So to everyone who has been a part of our journey, heartfelt thanks from Team MIG – cross your fingers for us on the 10th of June!



Growth in the barbering sector is on an upward trajectory. Since the release of the Certificate III in Barbering, more and more students are registering their interest to be educated in the realm of men’s hair. MIG Journal caught up with recent one of our recent Cert III barbering graduates, Deana Stavrou from Mr Snippets in Clayfield, and asked her what it’s like being a female in a traditionally male arena.

Influenced by her barber brother, Deana decided to step out of the beauty industry and undertake a barbering certificate at MIG Training last year. “I was looking for a change in career and barbering seemed like a fun and exciting industry to be a part of,” she tells. “I really enjoyed learning new skills and the whole environment at Matters in Gray. The teachers and students were always a pleasure to be around and everyone is just super supportive.”

So what’s it like working in a field being mostly surrounded by men? “Having worked in the beauty industry prior to starting barbering, I went from a predominantly female industry to the complete opposite,” Deana laughs. “I love working with men, as the more relaxed vibe makes for a pleasant day’s work. Whilst I guess being in a male-based industry does have its challenges, any preconceived ideas people may have of my ability based on my gender are pretty quickly squashed after I’m done with their hair. I haven’t had an unhappy customer yet!”

Deana says that working alongside her brother at Mr Snippets is a big bonus and together they plan to grow grow the business, as well as travel overseas to improve her skills. “Mr Snippets is an awesome place to work, and being with Geordie makes it all the more enjoyable, as the banter is always in full swing. We’re all about providing exceptional service, quality cuts and a good time for everyone that walks through our doors. We aim to keep the shop personable with a modern vibe…it’s a great place to put in a hard day’s work.”

So what’s Deana’s favourite barbering style? “I love doing scissor cuts and swept back styles. Something about having scissors in my hand makes me feel more legit. Whilst a lot of barbering relies heavily on clippers, it’s nice to get back to the basics occasionally. I also love following the work of some of the industry’s best barbers – obviously my brother Geordie, but also a few rad barbers and brands on Instagram like @Trebonds, @wolfmanbarber and of course @Barebonesoriginal.

There’s no doubting that Deana has a real passion for her newfound career, and by the looks of some of her work, she is indeed a star in the making. We asked Deana if she would recommend barbering to other young people, including females, to consider as a potential career?

“Absolutely!” she enthuses. “As long as people are willing to learn and work hard, barbering is a fantastic community to be a part of. You get to meet heaps of interesting people and there is never a dull moment. Being a creative industry, most people are pretty open-minded, so everyone can feel welcome to join.

“And when it comes to barber training, MIG is an excellent training organisation. The teachers and staff are super hands-on and always willing to share their knowledge and experiences. The College itself is phenomenal, with everything you’d need to learn and strengthen your skills provided for you. Highly recommended!”



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!



Horse Meat Disco might be the name of one of the UK’s finest disco DJ groups, but it’s also one of Brisbane’s coolest hair salons. And the team at MIG are thrilled to host Disco chief Mikey Forster on Monday 9 July 2018 for a colour workshop that will blow your mind. All the IT girls in town froth about this salon’s high end Insta-worthy colour work, so this is a rare opportunity to learn from the master himself how to achieve the Horse Meat Disco Salon signature looks with a combo of foiling and freehand colour techniques.


Sounds awesome right? We think so. But what makes it even better is that Mikey is a super nice guy who makes it his priority to ensure all of his students get the best learning experience possible. “Everyone attending this class will take away colour formulas, product choices, innovative techniques and placement and they can feel entirely comfortable asking me any questions and picking my brains,” Mikey says. “I like a relaxed learning environment so everyone is comfortable and I can accommodate all attendees.”

So what are you waiting for? Book now to avoid dissapoinment.




Celebrating 10 years in operation is a significant milestone for any salon. But when you’ve got not one but 12 salons (and another on the way), then it’s definitely party time! That’s exactly where MIG client Epic Hair Designs sits in 2018, one of the country’s largest privately owned salon groups and a flourishing spoke in Brisbane’s colourful hairdressing wheel.

The Epic Hair Design tagline is ‘Brisbane’s most trusted hairdressing group’. And there’s sure to be some element of truth in that claim, because the growth of the group over the last few years has been, well, epic to say the least. Not only is the team celebrating a decade in business in 2018, they are about to launch location #13 in Brisbane’s swish Ascot postcode, which will also be home to a brand new head office along with a state-of-the-art training facility.

We asked Epic boss Brendon Mann about his secret to success and longevity…and it seems accessibility plays a key factor. “Epic Hair Designs is synonymous with beautiful hair and a unique salon experience, offering luxury services at affordable prices,” he says. “The salons each boast a stylish interior design, with open and airy layouts complemented by custom crystal lighting and luxurious massage chairs. Having 12 locations means that an Epic salon is never too far away from wherever you are in Brisbane. Our team of 90+ stylists is close knit and proud to work under the Epic brand; our focus on training is what keeps our staff passionate and helps them thrive.”

Training is a huge part of the Epic DNA, so it’s little wonder that the team are super excited about the company’s new Ascot training facility opening soon. “It really means our level of service will be second to none,” Brendan continues. ‘What sets Epic apart from competitors is that we are specialists in all aspects of hair services.

Our target market is primarily women, from young females who keep up with the latest fashion trends to our weekly blow dry clients who keep coming back to Epic because they love what we do. We are masters in colour as well as blondes and balayage; we offer men’s services including cutting and colouring, and we also provide high quality hair extensions by Showpony Australia. So as you can imagine, education is a top priority for the team. Our highly trained stylists are the hard-working backbone to our success.

So how do you keep a team of 90+ motivated and happy?

“To manage our ever growing team and to avoid disparity, we ensure our stylists are highly trained and communicate daily via our private social media and HR applications. We also make certain our team stays social by organising multiple social events and awards nights throughout the year to keep them positive and inspired.”

At Matters in Gray we love working with likeminded clients who place education at the top of their priority list. So what is it about MIG and the service it provides to Epic Hair Designs as a salon client that Brendan likes most?

“A personalised approach to the training of our apprentices,” he replies. “We have found MIG to be extremely professional and a industry leader when it comes to training our future hairdressers. Their structure through to the curriculum of training they provide for our apprentices has been the most efficient and effective we have been able to find.

“Consistency in the way MIG approaches education, while being able to cater to different peoples’ learning styles is also a big plus. The teachers at MIG really care about the success of their students.

“Our apprentices enjoy going to college and find the learning environment to be positive and motivational. That works for us!”

Congratulations on reaching the BIG-ONE-O Epic Hair Designs…here’s to another decade!




In previous MIG Journal editions we’ve introduced you to some of our newest educators on the Matters in Gray team…so we thought it pertinent to wind back the clock and focus on MIG’s most longstanding team member this time, the wonderful Jenelle Arnott, who has been a member of the Gray family long before MIG even existed.

College Trainer (Workplace), Jenelle commenced her hairdressing career 43 years ago in the era of French rolls, barrel curls, perms, pageboy haircuts, beehives and chignons. We call her the foundations queen!

Jenelle’s hairdressing journey included managing a small chain of Brisbane salons and working for Rod Gray Sr prior to joining Matters in Gray 25 years ago as a trainer. For the past nine years she has held the role of Apprentice Coordinator and personally undertakes many hairdressing courses to keep abreast of industry trends, including a recently completed Master Colour program.

Want to learn a little more about Jenelle? Here are a few tidbits to keep you in the loop…

Star sign? Sagittarius

Describe yourself in 3 emojis…I have no idea what emojis would describe me!

Okay, well how would your co-workers describe you? They’d probably say that I talk a lot and that I’m the office pen thief. I am known for taking people’s pens and forgetting to return them.

Celebrity crush? Richard Gere

Fave food & bev? My mum’s cooking and red wine. Being Italian, her food is still amazing at 84!

Hair heroes? Jules and Benni Tognini

Best weekend? Going away and be totally pampered.

Career highlight? Seeing my apprentices complete their apprenticeship, and because I have being doing it for a while, then seeing them have their own business or managing salons and being asked to train their apprentices.

Era you wished you’d been born in? I am happy that I was born in the 50s. I’ve been able to experience things that this generation will never experience and doing all aspects of fabulous hairdressing.

Obsession? Ice cream

Fave pet? Cats

What part of your job would people find most surprising? The amount of kilometres I drive in a week.

Worst hair faux pas? Long mohawk

What makes you sad? Watching the news and seeing how children in other countries are suffering.

Last supper? Crabs and prawns with Boy George, Nicole Kidman and of course, Richard Gere (who would sit next to me!)



It’s been just over a year since Matters in Gray partnered with Sustainable Salons Australia (SSA)…and we’ve loved every minute of it!

“MIG has a very collaborative relationship with SSA,” says Anthony Gray. “The ease of the relationship stems from the fact we share similar feelings on education and growing our industry. For Paul, Ewelina and the SSA team, the education of young hairdressers in sustainability is the way to a better future, so engaging with RTOs like ourselves to spread the sustainability message is core to who they are.

‘MIG’s trainers feel part of the solution and through SSA are able to model best practise for the salons and emerging stylists we work with. Being a sustainable salon, above all else, empowers our students to take the sustainability message back to their salons and industry colleagues. We are pretty proud to be working with such a great group of people who are making real change.” 

We caught up with the undisputed king of curls and SSA boss man Paul Frasca about the importance of working with RTOs and what projects SSA has coming up next.

MIG: How many RTOs and colleges do you partner with?

PF: We work with many RTOs across all states and we have more than 20 on our program around Australia. 

MIG: What kinds of initiatives do you work on together with RTOs and colleges?

PF: There are a number of different projects and events. One of the key ones is working with colleges and local girls high schools, such as the one we did with Matters in Gray last year at Redeemer Lutheran College in Brisbane. A number of students agreed to cut off their ponytails so they could be donated to children with alopecia and cancer and raised sponsorship money for doing so. MIG provided the hairdressers and students and we provided the recycling and distribution services for the hair. These are great events with a lot of heart and the schools really get behind them. Why these fundraisers are so important is that this type of hair – from girls between the ages of 14 and 18 – is the highest quality of hair needed for wig making. And 95% of it is uncoloured, making it very valuable.

MIG: What are some of the ways that MIG is becoming more sustainable?

PF: At the moment, we are helping the MIG team recycle a lot of their unwanted materials. For example, Anthony has lots of boxes full of papers from years of overload and doesn’t really know what to do with it all. We can deal with that through our program. We sell off that paper and all proceeds go to OzHarvest to feed the homeless. We also recycle any dolls heads from the college. We give them to charities such as Hair Aid, which uses the dolls heads for training, or we send them to art groups for use in art projects.

MIG: What are your objectives working specifically with RTOs?

PF: Ensuring they have our service running inside their RTO is number one. It links really well with the unit called ‘Participating in Environmental Practises’, which is a compulsory unit for students undertaking a Certificate III in Hairdressing, so they can see in real life what it’s like to do this type of recycling inside their environment. On top of that, it’s also now keeping RTOs at the forefront of sustainability prior to these students going out into the workforce. At work these days, all they hear about is ‘green this, sustainability that’. So making sure schools are at the forefront and covering it first before the students go out into the workplace really helps them get a clear understanding of what it actually means to be properly sustainable…because we all know that out in the consumer world there are so many mixed messages. The most important place to learn about sustainability has to be at school level.

Working with RTOs is also great networking for SSA because our message filters down to the salon clients that the RTOs deal with. When a student sees what we do inside a school, they quickly ask the question back in their salon, ‘why are we not doing this?’


MIG: What are some of the other initiatives you are doing with different RTOs around the country?

PF: Recently we had students from a Brisbane college make recycled table centrepieces for the Australian Hair Industry Awards from old HairBiz magazines. That was a creative project and lots of fun. At TAFE South Australia, we have a bus called Priscilla that goes out monthly to different shelters to give haircuts, so we get the students to come along and help out and be part of the whole experience of giving back to the community. It’s a really exciting project.

MIG: We hear you’ll have a big presence at Hair Expo this year?

PF: Yes it’s a huge initiative with Hair Expo. We are actually partnering with them for the next four years, working together to make Hair Expo a sustainable event by 2020. It’s about getting everyone really focused about little things that have a big impact on the environment, like disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles. More than 20,000 cups of coffee will be consumed at Hair Expo over the three-day period and in excess of 20,000 bottles of water. Instead of all that rubbish going into landfill, we can now divert it. On top of that, we are looking at all the waste going in and out of Expo during the bump in and out. We are building some strong initiatives for the following year, so there’s a lot to come in that space.



With the barbering industry on a steep upward rise, the demand for barber training is growing fast, so to keep up with demand we’ve been searching for another stellar barber to join the MIG education team…and we’ve found someone amazing!

Please join us in welcoming Davide D’Annunzio, who along with Fiona Ryan is one of the newest educators at Matters in Gray College.

With a rich ancestry of barbers in the D’Annunzio family dating back to his great grandfather, you could says that barbering is in Davide’s blood. One of his key strengths is being able to envision and create the ‘look’ that clients often struggle to express. Accompanying his listening skills is a mastery of scissors; in fact Davide prides himself on creating contemporary, clean cuts using only scissors as his tool.

Davide’s passion for barbering intertwines with his love for teaching others his craft and unlocking their potential. He has an approachable personality and a simple, straightforward teaching style that allows students of any skill set to feel comfortable and enjoy learning. And secretly, David has a passion for performing, so don’t be surprised if you see him whipping up a storm on a dance floor near you soon!

We found out a few more secrets in our 60 Seconds with Davide D’Annunzio chat. Read on!

The era you wished you been born in? Early 1900s, no phones, no TV, everyone just hung out with each other

Fave food and bev? Lasagna and Vanilla Coke

Career highlight? Working as a performer at Movie World!

What makes you cry? Disney films

Hair hero? MC Barber

Cat or dog? Rottweiler

Who would you invite to a dinner party? Jim Carrey, Dr Karl, and Donald Trump.

Last supper? A meatball Subway

Fave dance tune? ‘Dance Floor’ by Zapp

Worst hair faux pas? Overgrown mullets

What makes you laugh? Accidental falls

Biggest inspiration? Jim Carrey

What do you love about teaching? Seeing the transformation of students

Obsession? Coffee and Tim Tams

In five years I’ll be…A father, a preacher and a better dancer



Our students are an important part of the Matters in Gray family and over the years we spend training them, we are blessed to develop special bonds with each and every one. So when our apprentices achieve success and kick goals, well, we feel just like proud parents!

A perfect example of how we empower our students to be the best they can be is one of our recent graduates, Josie Horner, whose passion for photo shoots and editorial hair resulted in her becoming a finalist in not one but TWO industry competitions – the 2018 Australian Hair Fashion Awards and the 2018 Australian Hair Industry Awards – for ‘Apprentice of the Year’. We caught up with Josie to get the low down on life post-MIG and the secret to her competition success.

MIG: When did you know you wanted to pursue hairdressing?

JH: I always wanted to be a hairdresser. When I was younger I loved doing hair, whether it was on my family or myself. I’ve always had the passion for hairdressing in me!

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

JH: I work at Globe Creative in Paddington. My duties are to take care of my clients and to personalise a different style to each individual. The salons I have worked at introduced me to MIG and since the very beginning to the end of my apprenticeship I have been training with them. I graduated from MIG in February this year.

MIG: What did you enjoy about your MIG education journey?

JH: I liked how every trainer was dedicated to the students and their individual needs. It was also great to train in the salon area on real clients. It gave me the opportunity to further my skills and gain confidence.

MIG: What did you learn that you use most in your salon?

JH: I learnt many skills while training at MIG but the main thing I learnt was to trust myself and be confident with what I am doing.

MIG: Congratulations on reaching the finals of both the AHFA and AHIA for ‘Apprentice of the Year’, can you tell us about your experience?

JH: My boss Joshua Magee encouraged me to enter both competitions for ‘Apprentice of the Year’. He knew how much I love doing photoshoots and he thought it would be a good opportunity for me to show what I can do. The six months of planning for the photoshoot was stressful, as I had never done a big shoot like this before. Every night I would be researching themes and ideas for it. I thought I had everything organised, but on the day of the shoot it never really goes to plan. To begin with, I was going to do a New York grunge theme all in colour, but when we took the photos it didn’t look right, so we ended up changing it to a global beauty vibe in black and white. I think the main thing to remember when doing a photoshoot is to be open to change. We were shooting from 6am – 7pm for two days straight, and although they were very long days, I loved every moment of it. We had such a great team to work with, which always makes it easier.

MIG: Any final words?

JH: Just that I would definitely recommend other students to train at MIG. I couldn’t have asked for a better college to support me through my apprenticeship!



The Brisbane Hair & Beauty Expo (BHBE) continues to gain momentum each year, and one of the most exciting elements of this event is the live hair competition arena that showcases some of the industry’s best talents. Last year the competitions had a huge increase in entries, as local stylists seized the opportunity to demonstrate their hairdressing skills in front of a live audience. Once again, Matters in Gray Training is proudly managing the entire competition schedule.


Held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, the BHBE will take place on Sunday 29 July and Monday 30 July. The hair competitions are split into two programs – The Sunshine Pro Series and The Barber Series. The programs run over two days, with separate divisions available for seniors and students/apprentices as listed below, so there is an opportunity for hairdressers of all skill levels to compete.



Salon Team Challenge – Colour, Cut, Style (Open) – New category!

Men’s Cutting (Apprentice/Student)

Contemporary Colour Pre-Done – (Apprentice/Student)

Contemporary Colour Pre-Done – (Senior)

Futuristic Colour Pre-Done (Apprentice/Student)

Futuristic Colour Pre-Done (Senior)



Live Competition Finals

Men’s Freestyle (0pen)

Traditional Barbering (Open)

Hair Art (Open)



Ladies Cutting (Apprentice/Student)

Ladies Cutting (Senior)

Upstyling Traditional (Open)

Upstyling Avant Garde (Open)


There is also another new category, the Pre-Event Online Hair Photographic Competition, whereby entrants can submit one photographic image online in either a Ladies Total Look (Open) or Men’s Total Look (Open).


The Sunshine Pro Series and Barber Pro Series platforms provide the opportunity to receive industry recognition and potentially propel your career to the next level. Given the growth in numbers for these hair competitions in 2017 from the previous year, we recommend you register early to ensure you don’t miss out! Entries open on Wednesday 4th April.


For further information and rules/regulations for each category, visit http://www.brisbanehairandbeautyexpo.com.au/hair-competitions/



Tickets are now on sale now to enter the Brisbane Hair & Beauty Expo Barber Pro Series  Barber Competition presented by Redken Brews.

To enter head to www.bhbe.com.au and click “BUY TICKETS” and following the prompts to select which category/s you would like to compete in.

We can’t wait to see what’s instore from our competitors in 2018!



Following the success of her ‘Creating Great Leaders’ workshop series in 2017, MIG is thrilled to welcome back everyone’s favourite business coach, Faye Murray, for her next instalment of business programs –  “Excite, Educate and Motivate Your Team”.

Faye’s two seminars this year will focus on how to wow and impress your clients. The program is designed for all salon staff, from juniors to the most experienced, and features practical ideas that attendees can take back to their salons and work with straight away. Both sessions are delivered over 90 minutes plus question time.

Session 1: It Is Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It That Matters

Date: Tuesday 15th May

Time: 6.00 – 7.30pm plus question time

Details: This workshop is all about developing ideas for amazing communication that will impress and win clients.

Areas covered include:

  • Client welcome
  • The value of great reception skills
  • Ask the right questions to get the right answers
  • The difference between selling and advising
  • Price quoting
  • Showing the value
  • Telephone magic
  • The shampoo experienc
  • Who needs a treatment
  • Consultation is a conversation
  • Never make assumptions

Session 2: Are You Good Enough To Win and Retain Clients?

Date: Tuesday 23rd October

Time: 6.00 – 7.30pm plus question time

Details: This workshop is about winning and retaining each and every client. Faye will look closely at what it takes to impress a client and have them return to you, not just once but ongoing, and tell others how special you are.

Areas covered include:

  • Great hair is always the key
  • What do you clients expect?
  • Developing relationships built on trust and respect
  • Change them before they change you
  • Planning the next visit
  • Touch points that matter
  • Indifference is a sure killer
  • Re-booking is a service, it will not retain
  • Focus on retention
  • What makes you different?
  • Filling up your appointment column

The investment for these invaluable workshops is just $59 per session or $99 for both sessions (prepaid). You can nominate another team member if you are unable to attend a session.

‘Excite, Educate and Motivate Your Team’, delivered by Faye Murray in conjunction with Matters in Gray, will take place at MIG College Brisbane, 12 Mt Gravatt-Capalaba Road, Upper Mt Gravatt. Numbers are strictly limited, so contact MIG Training on Tel: (07) 3349 6538 or email: info@mattersingray.com.au to book.



Hey apprentices! Don’t miss the chance to buy your value packed APPRENTICE SUPER PASS, which gives you access to an amazing mix of creative workshops, education and gala fun at Hair Expo 2018.





*** 2 Creative Sessions – http://www.hairexpoaustralia.com/en/Hair-Expo-Australia 2018/Conferences/#search=rpp%3D12%26d%3D102743%7C152_427566

*** Look N Learn Pass – http://www.hairexpoaustralia.com/en/Hair-Expo-Australia-2018/Conferences/#search=rpp%3D12%26d%3D102741%7C152_427572

*** 3 day expo pass – http://www.hairexpoaustralia.com/en/Expo

*** Gen NEXT Sunday Night Showhttp://www.hairexpoaustralia.com/en/Galas/The-GenNext-Project/

With names including Angelo Seminara, Candy Shaw, Joey Scandizzo, Marie Uva, Kobi Bokshish, Stevie English, Katy Reeve, Nick Irwin, Lorna Evans, Paul Rucupito, Howard McLean, Pulp Riot and Co-Lab to choose from, your creative juices will be catapulted into overdrive!

Early bird* Price: $249.00 – *Ends 20 April 2018
Full Price: $269.00
RRP: $1,079.00 (That’s a $830.00 discount if students purchase their ticket before early bird deadline)


Please contact Hair Expo via visit@hairexpoaustralia.com, providing a letter or certificate that verifies you are an apprentice and Hair Expo will provide you with the Apprentice Super Pass Code!  

Hair Expo believes in elevating young talent for the future of our industry. This special discounted Apprentice Super Pass is a must-have so that apprentices can soak up new skills and go back to the salon motivated and inspired.

Hair Expo Australia takes place from Saturday 9 to Monday 11 June 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).