VU Polytechnic hairdressing and barbering educators and students took their skills to Bourke Street Mall on March 15 to support the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.
Blood cancer is the third biggest cause of cancer death across Australia, claiming more lives each year than breast cancer or skin cancer. The Leukaemia Foundation is the only national charity dedicated to helping more Australians with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related disorders survive their blood cancer and live a better quality of life.
As someone who has been touched by two children’s journeys through diagnosis and treatment, VU Polytechnic educator Erin Boyd felt a need to help with the foundation's incredible work. Reaching out in late in 2018, Erin identified an opportunity for the Polytechnic’s full-time Hairdressing and Barbering students to help, and was incredibly grateful for the passionate interest of the students offering their support to give back to those in need.
Altogether VU Polytechnic had a team of 15 students and 4 educators who volunteered for the amazing event. Erin took the opportunity one step further, joining the team into the Sustainable Salons Australia super team and raised extra money through a raffle held for clients and students on campus during the month of March. A partner of VU Polytechnic for the last three years, Sustainable Salons Australia is a fantastic social enterprise that rescues up to 95% of salon resources from landfill and finds repurposing solutions that benefit our planet.
The ponytails collected on campus and on the events day are sent to charitable organisations such as Variety the Children’s Charity and the Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation (AAAF) to be made into wigs or to fund life-changing programs. There is a specific way that these ponytails must be prepared, cut and collected for the hair to have maximum use for wig makers. New students studying Certificate II in Salon Assistant had this very important job on the day, having practiced on mannequin heads in the lead up to the event to ensure no hair was wasted.
For Erin, the teamwork and passion the students and staff showed was essential to helping raise as much as they could in support of finding a cure faster.
“There was a fantastic teamwork atmosphere on the day in the mall and our students showed great enthusiasm, professionalism and compassion in keeping up with the demands of the event. Some students only having been studying with us for less than five weeks.”
VU Polytechnic students Celeste and Krystina participated on the day, saying that the event was “really rewarding and fun”.
Congratulations to the super team using their important skills to give back to the community.
To find out more about supporting the fight against blood cancer, visit the Leukaemia Foundation.