Mary Evans was named TAFE NSW Western and New England Student of the Year, and was presented her award by TAFE NSW relieving RGM Adam Bennett at the award ceremony in Tamworth.
Mary Evans was named TAFE NSW Western and New England Student of the Year, and was presented her award by TAFE NSW relieving RGM Adam Bennett at the award ceremony in Tamworth.

Aspiring hairdresser proves to be a cut above

MAKING a mark in the hairdressing industry is no easy feat, and one former Maclean woman is doing just that in her new home of Armidale.

Last week Mary Evans was awarded the TAFE NSW Western and New England region Student of the Year award at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards in Tamworth.

The awards were originally planned to take place in March, however COVID-19 restrictions saw the event postponed to last week.

Mary said he had no idea she had won until she received an email notifying her of the new time for the awards.

“It was a bit of a surprise to get the email saying that the awards were back on, and by the way you’ve won,” she said.

“I knew I was a finalist back in March but to find out that I had won it was very exciting. The award means a lot, it’s so nice to have recognition for all the hard work I’ve put in the last couple of years.”

The 21-year-old finished her HSC at Maclean High School in 2016 before moving to Armidale the following year to start her hairdressing apprenticeship.

“I’ve always had passion for hair and beauty, you play with it as you grow up and I’ve always enjoyed it,” she said.

“When you’re looking at career options after school I thought ‘gosh what am I going to do?’

“I found hairdressing was nice and creative, there’s a lot you can do with it but it’s also a nice steady job.”

Mary finished her apprenticeship in March this year, and the senior stylist now has aspirations to take her craft further.

“My target at the moment is the National WorldSkills Hairdressing competition in Perth next year, I’ve been invited to that so I’m training hard,” she said.

“I’m taking things day by day, so many things you dream of, so in the future maybe one day I could own my own salon, there’s so many options.”

Mary has successfully completed a Certificate III in Hairdressing at TAFE NSW Tamworth and travelled weekly to Tamworth from Armidale to attend class.

“Mary excelled in her academic studies at TAFE NSW due to her willingness to learn, dedication to study and the support from her employer,” the judges said.

“Mary has also excelled outside the classroom being a valuable team member of Cooper & Co Hairdressing in Armidale.

“Mary competed in the 2019 Regional WorldSkills Hairdressing competition and received a gold medal. Mary put in a lot of extra training and preparation prior to the competition which shows commitment to succeed and growth in knowledge of the hairdressing industry.”

The TAFE NSW Excellence Awards acknowledge determination, resilience and leadership – identifying those who achieve outstanding academic results, who provide a significant contribution to their professions, and who exhibit exceptional personal qualities.



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