The golden ticket: 2019 Hair Expo Awards finalists announced, representing top hairdressers in Australia and New Zealand

Media release

Monday 29 April 2019

115 lucky hairdressers from around Australia and New Zealand were delivered a special surprise from Wednesday 24 April as Hair Expo Australia delivered the finalists of its prestigious Hair Expo Awards their ‘golden ticket’.

The exciting delivery was a new announcement format for 2019, with 115 finalists chosen across 19 categories. All entrants were delivered a Charlie & The Chocolate Factory inspired package with the selected finalists also uncovering a ‘golden ticket’.

The new format replaced a cocktail event usually held in Sydney, with Event Director Cory Watson explaining that the announcement delivery meant a more inclusive experience for those based in New Zealand and interstate that couldn’t attend the event in past years.

“We wanted to create something fun and experiential that all our Hair Expo Awards entrants could participate in this year. The response has been amazing and we are so thrilled for all our finalists! The standard of work that is produced for these awards is always incredible, but this year, Australian and New Zealand hairdressers have once again raised the bar with some exceptional creative collections among our 2019 entries”, said Cory.

The finalists for Hair Expo Australian Hairdresser of the Year, the awards’ highest honour, are:

  • Pauline McCabe - Rock Paper Scissors Hair Studio
  • Kobi Bokshish - Intershape Hairstylists
  • Dee Parker Attwood - Wieselmann Salon
  • Uros Mikic - Kinky Curly Straight
  • Mary Alamine – Royals Hair
  • Dmitri Papas - Papas and Pace
  • Shane Henning – Noddys on King

Entries across 15 creative categories and four business categories were assessed by an illustrious panel of 11 international judges, 10 local judges, and five specialist business judges; together representing a global line-up of hairdressing talent, business experts and respected industry media. The judging panel was selected by Hair Expo Awards Head Judge and Awards Ambassador, Julie Piantadosi.

Hair Expo Awards 2019 Judging Panel

International judges

  • Trevor Sorbie MBE (UK)
  • Tabatha Coffey (USA)
  • Sally Brooks (UK)
  • Jamie Brooks (UK)
  • Peter Gray (USA)
  • Nick Irwin (UK)
  • Local Judges
  • Emiliano Vitale (NSW)
  • Sandy Chong (NSW)
  • Caterina Di Biase (VIC)
  • Stelios Papas (QLD)
  • Justin Pace (QLD)
  • Brad Ngata (NSW)

Specialist business judges

  • Anthony Richardson, Qantas Host, Customer Service Experience
  • Faye Murray, Business Coach
  • Mark Leeson (UK)
  • Andreas Stavrou (UK)
  • Guy Tang (USA)
  • Michael Levine (Canada)
  • George Alderete (USA)
  • Laura Castelli (Italy; editor, Estetica magazine)
  • Jules Tognini (QLD)
  • Danny Pato (NZ)
  • Bronwyn Illingworth (NZ)
  • Cameron Pine (NSW; editor, INSTYLE magazine)
  • Charles Marcus, International trainer, speaker and author
  • Enza Ferraro, ANZ Executive, Business Banking
  • Ruth Browne, Head of Department, Box Hill Hair and Beauty Institute

“Our judges were blown away with the amount of creativity and technical skill from our entrants this year. It’s more evident than ever that hairdressers from Australia and New Zealand are among the best in the world and the Hair Expo Awards provide the perfect platform for them to showcase their incredible skill”, said Julie Piantadosi about this year’s awards.

Among the finalists selected were six for Hair Expo Awards’ new category, Master Cutter of the Year. The category was introduced to celebrate the exceptional art of haircutting and received an encouraging amount of entries in its inaugural year.

The Hair Expo Awards are Australia and New Zealand’s highest honour in hairdressing and have been elevating industry talent for more than 30 years. The awards recognise excellence in creative vision, advanced technical skill, and business acumen – the complete representation of what exceptional hairdressing is.

The winners of the 2019 Hair Expo Awards will be announced at a lavish evening ceremony on Monday 10 June at Hair Expo Australia in Sydney. This night is the pinnacle event of Hair Expo’s three days of trend showcases, world-class education and hair show performances, leading to it being known as Australia’s ‘Festival of Hair’.

For more information, please visit

2019 Hair Expo Awards finalists

Creative categories

Apprentice Student of the Year

  • Bridie Meehan - Joey Scandizzo Salon
  • Tep Read – Papas and Pace
  • Georgia Freedman – Rokk Ebony
  • Harrison Sansom – Stevie English Hair
  • Ella Thompson - Dharma

Best Salon Design

  • KODA Cutters
  • Brady Hair Salon
  • House of Terre a Mer
  • Fatty Arbuckles Hair Artistry & Lather Lounge
  • Minogue Hairdressing
  • Glow Beauty Space
  • Zowie Evans Hairdressing
  • Tsiknaris Hair
  • Kinky Curly Straight
  • GM hair

Colour Technician of the Year

  • Justin Pace - Papas and Pace
  • Chris Tsiknaris - Tsiknaris hair
  • Kristie Kesic - Stelios Papas Toowong
  • Marilyn Guarino – BIBA
  • Stevie Corthine – Stevie English Hair

Creative Force of the Year

  • Zoe Wilde – Sir & Duchess Salon
  • Lyndall Vile – Head Over Heels
  • Steph Meyer – Steph Meyer & Co
  • Jacky Quon – De Stijl Hair
  • Elle Schoemaker – Stelios Papas Toowong
  • Nichola Lovell – Toni&Guy Brighton
  • Morgan Richards – Toni&Guy McMahons Point

Master Cutter of the Year

  • Kylie Hayes – Moha Hairdressing
  • Jessica Sutherland – Rokk Ebony
  • Dmitri Papas – Papas and Pace
  • Jules Tognini – lil’ off the top
  • Lyndal Salmon – BIBA
  • Sabrina Fetterkind – BIBA

Men's Hairdresser / Barber of the Year

  • Christopher Byrne – Sloans of Lane Cove
  • Tom White – Rubi Hair
  • Harriett Tan – colour it & man it
  • Yuki Kano – Toni&Guy Australia
  • Hussein Naser – nasers haircuts
  • Fred LeMarche – Man Oh Man
  • Anthony Staltari – Barbery The Craft of a Barber
  • Tori Gill – Paragon Studio

New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year

  • Jamiee Smith - Zaibatsu Hair Art
  • Ann Marie Young – Jingles Hair Design
  • Danny Pato – D&M Hair Design
  • Mikaela Campbell – Opulence
  • Kylie Hayes – Moha Hairdressing
  • Mike Hamel – GM Hair

New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory Hairdresser of the Year

  • Zoe Wilde – Sir & Duchess Salon
  • Idy Duong – Sloans of Lane Cove
  • Nathan Cherrington – Salon Zephyr
  • Paula Hibbard – Paula Hibbard
  • Travis Bandiera – Royals Hair
  • Carolyn Gahan – Seamless1

Queensland Hairdresser of the Year

  • Dimitri Tsiknaris – Tsiknaris Hair
  • Ryan King – Togninis
  • Rebecca Hubbard – Dextress Hair
  • Elle Schoemaker – Stelios Papas Toowong

Salon Team of the Year

  • Jingles Hair Design
  • Ella&Jade
  • Stelios Papas Toowong
  • Axis Hairdressing
  • Barbery the Craft of a Barber
  • UVA Salon
  • Papas and Pace
  • Moha Hairdressing
  • Toni&Guy McMahons Point
  • Stevie English Hair

South Australian / Tasmanian Hairdresser of the Year

  • Tracy Doak – De Stijl
  • Mathew Johnson – MJ by Mat Johnson
  • Sam James – Obre North Adelaide
  • Johnny Georgiou - Barbery the Craft of a Barber
  • Massimo Tirimacco – Zohair

Session Stylist of the Year

  • Richard Kavanagh – DLM
  • Sarah Laidlaw – Sarah Laidlaw @ Union Management
  • Daren Borthwick – The Artist Group

Victorian Hairdresser of the Year

  • Nikki Porter – Rubi Hair Malvern
  • Benjamin Martin – Salon XVI
  • Chung-Yang Su – Rokk Ebony
  • Christina Tatasciore – Flipped Hair
  • Lyndal Salmon – BIBA

West Australian / Northern Territory Hairdresser of the Year

  • Hayley Keep – Earth Wind Fire Hair
  • Jude McEwen – Toni&Guy Perth Central
  • Jo Banks – HairArt
  • Michael O’Dowd – O’Dowd Christie
  • Timothy Pascoe – Head Studio

Business categories

Education Business of the Year

  • MIG Training
  • Barbery the Craft of a Barber
  • Box Hill Institute – Hairdressing
  • DCI Education
  • Sharon Blain Education

Educator of the Year

  • Jules Tognini – lil’ off the top
  • Dario Cotroneo – DCI Education
  • Bernadette Beswick – Beswick Education Services
  • Lauren McCowan - Lauren McCowan
  • Katy Reeve - Toni&Guy

Industry Business Performance of the Year

  • Mocha Publishing
  • Excellent Edges
  • MacLeod Education
  • Hair Aid
  • O&M

Salon Business of the Year

  • Rubi Hair Richmond
  • Circles of Hair
  • Sloans
  • Tyler Reid Hair
  • Royals Hair
  • Papas and Pace
  • Huntress Hair Religion

The full gallery of finalist collections can be viewed here

For more information on Hair Expo Australia, see