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Jane Clark: Going to great lengths to help hairdressing students and industry

Published: 28 Oct 2022

As this year's winner of the prestigious ACT Training Awards John Scott Award, Jane Clark's career has evolved from working on the salon floor to building industry connections and helping students establish their own careers.

Along the way she has taught a diverse range of students at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and she has enjoyed helping them learn and grow, but she has never forgotten the joy and creativity of hairdressing.

"I still can't believe how many options I have had as part of my career," Jane said.

"I grew up in Cowra and dreamed of being a hairdresser from a young age. My parents encouraged me to move to Sydney to pursue my dream and learn from the best in the hairdressing industry. I was only 17, living in Surry Hills - I was really lucky to have opportunities to learn from the best in the industry."

"I have been a hairdresser for over 20 years, with qualifications in Certificate III and Certificate IV in the trade. I owned my own business for five years where I also employed apprentices. I also have worked in salons as the training coordinator and head trainer.

"Training at CIT gives you the skills to hit the ground running and get a job easily in the hairdressing industry. There are many exciting jobs all over the world and you will never be bored.

"CIT is an essential part in addressing the skills shortage our country faces, by developing skilled, passionate, and inspired tradespeople.

"Our salons at CIT replicate a working salon environment that gives all students the knowledge and skills in their career.

Jane looks forward to a future continuing to assist students at CIT and says there is a strong future for students in the industry.

"I wanted to give back to the industry, so I pursued a formal education to become a teacher. I have now been working at CIT for 12 years.

"There will always be a requirement for humans to do hairdressing. It's more than a haircut - it is forming a bond and human connection and interaction. You are even a counsellor for many - you can now do professional training in counselling as part of being a hairdresser."

"There is always a demand for hairdresser and endless opportunities you could be working on catwalks and fashion weeks or photoshoots or teaching the hairdressers of tomorrow. I love the creativity of it. It’s hard work but definitely worth it. One of the best things is working with a great team."

Learn more about a career and training at CIT in hair, barbering or beauty