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.