Cut it out: Geraldton hairdresser Stellisha (Kaylee) Woodley to represent salon & Australia at expo in France

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
Stellisha (Kaylee) Woodley with her TAFE award
Camera IconStellisha (Kaylee) Woodley with her TAFE award Credit: Anna Cox

An emerging Geraldton hairdresser and proud Wadjarri Yamatji Nuylu woman has shown she is a cut above the rest and that her skills are sheer class, so much so she is jetting off to France to compete in a prestigious competition.

Stellisha (Kaylee) Woodley is France-bound at the end of June to participate in the Foundation Guillaume hair expo in St Tropez.

After completing her apprenticeship in January, Ms Woodley is one of three selected representatives from Australia.

This comes as no surprise to salon owner Teresa Italiano, beaming as she said Ms Woodley had taken home the 2022-23 Central Regional TAFE Aboriginal Student of the Year award, and is now up to be recognised on a State level.

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Ms Woodley submitted a video application detailing herself and her experience in the industry, starting in 2016 as a Saturday morning girl sweeping hair, then beginning her apprenticeship part-time in 2018 and completing it earlier this year at the age of 23.

Ms Woodley says she has no specialty, but Ms Italiano is quick to correct her: “Blondes. She’s amazing with the blondes.”

“I’m really excited to see all the other work,” Ms Woodley said.

At the expo, each representative will be assigned a model. Ms Italiano said “a lot of them don’t speak English, so there’s a language barrier and they work through using photos” to achieve the final look.

The Mid West community has rallied around the talented young hairdresser after it was announced that she would be attending. Clients of the salon have been donating to help fund the trip; an anonymous donor sent $500 to Ms Woodley while their head was still in the basin. Intercoiffure Mondial Australia, the founder of Foundation Guillaume, has also contributed $750.

International not-for-profit organisation Soroptimists contributed $1000 towards the trip. President of the Mid West branch Leanne Sice said the organisation was glad to be supporting Ms Woodley. “Anything to do with women and girls, we advocate and assist them in becoming the best version of themselves,” she said.

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