CURATE Awards: A new competition for Australia’s next generation of hairdressers

26 Jan 2024 by Kitomba

Justin Pace, AHIA 2023 Creative Australian Hairdresser of the Year and Kitomba customer, has launched a new competition for Australian hairdressing apprentices – CURATE Awards.

Kitomba is a proud sponsor of the CURATE Awards, which aims to attract, inspire and grow Australia’s next generation of hairdressers—supporting the sustainability and future success of our industry.

Kitomba General Manager Alyssa Dowsett said: “Here at Kitomba, we are dedicated to helping salons succeed and for the sustainability of our industry, it is so important that we invest in attracting, growing and developing our next generation of talent. We are so proud to be a sponsor of the CURATE Awards this year and we can’t wait for all of the entries to come through from our future hairdressers and salon owners.”

Keep reading to learn more about CURATE Awards, how to enter, and how it can benefit not just your apprentices, but your salon too.

What is the CURATE Awards?

CURATE Awards was created to help with the sustainability of our industry by attracting, inspiring, and retaining a new generation of talented apprentices.

There is a shortage of talent in the Australian hair industry.

A report by the Australian Hairdressing Council showed that:

  • Apprenticeship commencements reduced by almost 50% between 2010 and 2019, from 2,585 in Q1 2010 to 1,326 in Q1 of 2019.
  • Over the same period, apprenticeship completions fell by over 50%,from 1,169 to only 553.

This data shows that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of new talent in our industry was falling, and the pandemic didn’t help. The number of apprentices coming through has reduced significantly, and those who do come into the industry lose motivation and excitement.

That is why the CURATE Awards are so important—to create a competition specifically for apprentices, is accessible, and regenerates the excitement and enthusiasm among apprentices, in turn helping with the sustainability of the hair industry.


Who is eligible to enter CURATE Awards?

If you’re currently in training as an Apprentice in Australia, either in part or in full, between January – December 2024, you’re eligible to enter! The competition welcomes participants from across the country and has dedicated Urban and Regional categories to make sure that wherever you live in Australia, you have a chance to showcase your skills and creativity.

What are the benefits of entering?

Entering CURATE Awards isn’t just about winning a competition; it’s a chance to shine, challenge yourself and be recognised.

Prizes for winners include:

  • A full-day photoshoot workshop with Justin Pace.
  • A ticket to the AHIA Creative Awards Gala in Sydney, NSW.
  • A single-day pass to enter Hair Festival.
  • Extensive coverage in HAIRBIZ magazine and across Mocha Hair digital platforms.
  • A professionally crafted biography in collaboration with Lily Blue Communications.
  • Exciting prize packs and experiences from the CURATE Collaborators.

Flights and accommodation are also included if needed, making the prize pack an all-encompassing experience to kickstart your career in the hairdressing industry.


How do I enter CURATE Awards?

To ensure that everyone in Australia gets a chance to showcase their talent, whatever they specialise in, there are four awards you can enter.

  1. Colour & Style – URBAN
  2. Cut & Style – URBAN
  3. Colour & Style – REGIONAL
  4. Cut & Style – REGIONAL

What type of award you can enter (Urban or Regional) is decided based on your postcode. You can find out what awards you are eligible to enter by heading to the CURATE Awards website.

In terms of how to enter, it’s simple! If you’ve been in training as an Apprentice in Australia during the awards period, you create a 2-minute video edit showcasing your Cut and Colour or Colour and Style skills. Then, upload it to the CURATE Awards competition platform along with a few photos and some necessary forms. You’ll also need to provide signed documentation confirming your apprenticeship status.

The entry fee is $50 and no professional videography, editing or photography is permitted, making this competition accessible to everyone.

To learn more about the awards or to get started, click the button below!

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