Rachel Wallace (Australia)

REGION      Tasmania
CATEGORY    Men's Hairdressing 1991

ImageRachel Wallace competed in Men's Hairdressing fifteen years ago receiving a gold medal in the National competition in 1991. She was also placed fourth at the Internationals in the same year, missing out on a medal by a score of .25. But Rachel has remained focused and determined despite discouragement from peers. "I got a bit of rubbish at TAPE from other students because I was working in a barber's shop. This maybe made me more determined to do well."  

With determination and encouragement Rachel achieved a gold medal and a successful business.

Her determination also came from other people's beliefs in her. She has her family and TAFE teacher, Kevin Donovan, to thank for her success. "Without Kevin I would never have considered competing at the regional. He told me one day that he wanted me to compete because he knew that I could win the Nationals. Thanks Kevin!" As a competitor, Rachel trained two nights a week and on her days off. She treated work like a competition, using only the tools that she would be using when competing. Since then, Rachel has owned her own business for thirteen years.

Her salon in Hobart employs three people including an apprentice. She is also still contributing to WorldSkills as an International Team Leader and helps to train the current Tasmanian WorldSkills hairdressing competitor. "WorldSkills is an organisation that I have a lot of respect for, both for what they are trying to do and what they have achieved in the past. I feel that I owe them something for getting me where I am, and the least I can do is to give something back." Speaking from experience, Rachel believes that today's competitors need the dedication and commitment to achieve results. "It takes a fair amount of natural talent, a lot of hard work and you have to want it. If you are prepared to work hard, the possibilities are endless."