Chairperson of CIDESCO Section Australia and Principal of Hyde Park College of Beauty Therapy in South Australia, Dianne Miles discusses her CIDESCO journey and the changes she’s witnessing in our local industry.
How did you start your career in the beauty industry?
I was teaching hairdressing in a government college in Hobart, Tasmania and was fortunate enough to be awarded a government scholarship to study overseas for a year. I chose to study in UK and with my family we moved to Surrey and I studied beauty therapy and the children went to local schools. It was a fabulous experience for all of us.
Why did you join CIDESCO?
Upon my return to Australia after my training in the UK we returned home to Adelaide and I opened my own training college in Hyde Park, hence the name of the college. I was able to offer International courses and, after my first few years I was approached by CIDESCO to consider offering their qualifications. This of course was a “no brainer” particularly with the ongoing encouragement of Jo Wackett and Joanna Hoare.
What are your main challenges when it comes to educating students?
I think we all have the same challenges; study vs private social life, getting across to the student how attendance is very important, normal stresses before exams. We always implore the students to understand that it’s no longer high school, it’s adult education. I have had the college for 30 years this year and not much changes, however that said, our students’ ages are different than they were in the 80’s.
My median age now is probably 30-40 depending on the intake and time of year. I see loads of career change students and this is reflected in the ages of the students. I am talking about real estate managers, nurses, office managers, etc. I am not sure if it is my college but I have fewer 18 year olds these days. And I find this is why our outcomes are so good as far as employment goes.
Employers want mature age employees not always fresh-faced 16 year olds with little life experience. And I guess they like the fact that on the salon/spa floor a client may think that a 30 year old has been in the salon position for years because she’s 30 so must have loads of experience and knowledge.
What trends are you seeing in beauty education?
More and more I see dermal therapies and IPL and laser being expanded into salons and medi spas etc. In fact this is big business in a few other Training institutions with theory being conducted online and practical in blocks after the theory component is completed. Some training institutions are also offering online video hook ups for training in the practical classes.
There are some excellent changes to how and where these modalities are to be delivered in Australia in salons or training institutions being investigated and organised by the Government. Strict regulations are on the very close horizon. Safety is now in the forefront of the Government’s policy.
I am also seeing higher end salons and spas offering laser and IPL and top of the range beauty treatments being expanded into having branches and franchisees. Some training institutions are now offering diplomas in cosmetic nursing. So the short answer is dermal therapies is required because the public want to be able to attend a medi spa, clinic for these services along with standard treatments and wellness.
What are your top 3 tips for students?
- Be realistic about how much time you will give to your studies BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. It is after all such a miniscule time out of your life to commit yourself to studies to be in a position to change your life, have a wonderful career and further that career path locally and all over the globe.
- Surround yourself with a support network of family and friends and fellow students. Don’t surround yourself with saboteurs who may just not want you to improve yourself and achieve your dreams.
- At the end of the day you and only you are responsible so put your head down and just do it!