Emily Geard - WorldSkills 2023 Hairdressing silver medallist
Published on: 21 Sep 2023
Emily Geard recently took home the silver medal for hairdressing at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships for 2023.
The National Championships is Australia’s biggest vocational education and excellence competition, with regional competitors from all around the country competing against their industry peers.
A former TasTAFE apprentice, Emily works at Caj Hair and Beauty, and returned to TasTAFE to put in hours of practice before the Championships. Reflecting on her second-place prize, Emily said the practice she put in paid off.
“I put in about 15 to 20 hours a week on top of working full time getting ready for all of it. You don’t really know what you’re going to be doing in the competition until it starts, so I trained for everything I could just in case something random gets thrown at you.
Fortunately, the haircut I had been training the week of WorldSkills ended up being one of the cuts we had to do in the competition”.
“TasTAFE were awesome. They helped me sort out my tool kit and could help with any questions I had. I had lots of support around me for whatever I needed.”
Given her level of preparedness, Emily left the competition feeling satisfied with her efforts and optimistic about her medal chances, but says she was still thrilled to hear her name called in second place.
“I was hoping I would place because I knew I had done a really good job, but it was so exciting to hear my name called and go up on stage and get a medal”.
Adding to the thrill was that she was one of five Tasmanians to come home with a silver medal, dubbing themselves “team silver.” Emily said Team Tasmania inspired each other to give it their all at the Championships, and that just like the practice she put in on her own, the time Team Tasmania spent together prior to the Championships was pivotal to their success.
“Going on the team camps and meetings beforehand really let us get to know each other. We’re all really friendly and we had a great time. Everyone’s going to keep in touch and keep up. I’ve already said to the Team Leaders that I would be more than willing to go along to any future WorldSkills meetings or camps to help out the next group of competitors.”
Despite her hours of practice, Emily learnt there are still some things you can never prepare for at the Championships.
“On day one we had to do a cut and a colour, and a men’s perm and cut… My live model got pulled out of the crowd at the last minute because the man I had been assigned, it was ruled that his hair was too short for competition. You never know who you’re going to get.”
Emily says her experience and success at WorldSkills has given her motivation to seek out more challenges in her career.
“Already I’ve been looking at new courses and new competitions… The Chief Judge at WorldSkills told me if I want to go and work internationally, she could help set things up for me. That would open up a lot more opportunities if I do want to go and travel the world but still keep working..”