HITO graduates were encouraged to value their skills and influence at HITO’s 2019 Graduation Ceremony in Wellington.

The ceremony celebrated the achievements of barbers, hairdressers, beauty therapists who completed qualifications this year.

2019 HITO Graduates

Internationally-recognised hairdresser and MC Mana Dave said he had started at the same point as the graduates in the room – by getting qualified. He now owned two Auckland salons and had the opportunity to represent New Zealand on a world stage as a brand ambassador.

MC Mana Dave

“My career has been built on three values, that have filtered through to the rest of my life.

  1. Respect: We’re in the people business – if you want that business to grow then treat people as you would like to be treated.
  2. Community: You have the ability to help out people around you, draw strength from them and to give them strength.
  3. Self-development: If you’re about the idea of growing, it must be initiated by you.”

HITO Board Chair Flora Gilkison said hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists held positions of trust and influence in their communities.

“Clients will tell you things they wouldn’t dare to confess to a priest and be open about matters they would try to conceal from others. Understand how your clients trust you and don’t lose that trust. Value your skills and put the correct price on them.”

HITO Board Chair Flora Gilkison (left) congratulates a 2019 graduate

Dr Gilkison announced the Honorary Awards from the International Professional Standards Network (IPSN). This year’s recipients are London-based hairdresser and educator Patrick Cameron, and David Shields, a huge contributor to training and mentoring in New Zealand.


Amelia London, hairdresser and barber at Spectra in Palmerston North, spoke on behalf of the graduates. Amelia started her hairdressing apprenticeship at the age of 15 and at 24 completed a second apprenticeship, in barbering.


Barbering graduate Amelia London

“Apprenticeships give you fantastic experience in the working world and show employers that you can ‘hit the ground running’. They open doors to so many amazing opportunities and give you the ability to give back to your industry by qualifying and training others. I am forever grateful for Gabs my boss for believing in me and being a great mentor, that is one of the most important things!”


HITO CEO Kay Nelson


HITO CEO Kay Nelson thanked Amelia for her work as the Employee Representative on HITO’s Board. She also thanked all of the professionals that had helped train graduates and introduced HITO’s new programme to recognise trainers’ contribution to the industries.


For more photos, see HITO’s Facebook page

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