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Yamatji hairdresser Stellisha (Kaylee) Woodley on global stage in St Tropez for prestigious expo

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
Stellisha (Kaylee) Woodley in her element at the Foundation Guillaume expo
Camera IconStellisha (Kaylee) Woodley in her element at the Foundation Guillaume expo Credit: supplied

After a whirlwind sojourn to St Tropez, Geraldton local Stellisha (Kaylee) Woodley has returned from a prestigious hair expo which recognised her homegrown talent on the global stage.

The Foundation Guillaume hair expo is a three-day celebration of hair artistry, bringing together experts from across the world to participate in seminars and engage with members of the Intercoiffure Mondial organisation.

After submitting a video application expressing her interest in the event, Ms Woodley , 23, was one of three people from Australia selected to attend.

The expo allowed Ms Woodley, a proud Wadjarri Yamatji Nuylu woman, to present her work alongside peers from Japan, China, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.

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“It was a really cool experience, being able to work with people from different cultures that don’t speak much English, but being able to communicate through hair,” she said.

The expo included a day-long seminar in which participants were put in groups and asked to create a unique look to showcase their skills, followed by a White Party — an opportunity for stylists from all corners of the globe to mingle and discuss their shared passion.

Ms Woodley’s supervisor, Teresa Italiano, the owner and operator of Cut Loose Hair Design, mentored her throughout the process, helping fundraise more than $4000 for the trip.

Mid West organisations Soroptimists, JK Foundation and clients of the salon rallied behind the local cause, helping cover costs for Ms Woodley and Ms Italiano to attend the event.

“Thank you to all the beautiful clients that helped get us there. It obviously wouldn’t have happened without them,” Ms Woodley said.

Ms Woodley completed her apprenticeship in January, but is already making waves after being recognised as the 2022-23 Central Regional TAFE Aboriginal Student of the Year, and now adding the prestigious Foundation Guillaume expo to her portfolio.

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