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Jackson carves out a career in barbering

Jackson Midgley, a young and talented Indigenous barber based in Ipswich, has a passion for making people happy through his exceptional skills. 

It was during his final year of high school in 2022, when Jackson first honed-in on his interest in the industry. Initially uncertain about his post-graduation plans, Jackson’s family recognised that his creativity and outgoing personality would be a perfect fit for a career in barbering.

“It was my mum who really encouraged me to choose a career in the industry. I had no plans after high school and my mum asked if I wanted to try barbering,” Jackson explained.

Growing up, Jackson had always admired his mum, Kristy Midgley, an experienced hairdresser. Kristy has dedicated almost three decades to her career in hairdressing and owned and managed Giggles Hair Salons in Ipswich for the past 17 of those years.

Kristy’s longstanding partnership with TAFE Queensland led Jackson to enrol in the Certificate III in Barbering (SHB30516) at the Ipswich campus after he finished high school.

TAFE Queensland Barbering Teacher, Junior Faamalele, played a crucial role in Jackson’s training journey — helping him set goals, learn the ins and outs of the barber shop, and build confidence behind the chair.

“My teacher, Junior, sat me down when we first started and discussed what was my goals were,” Jackson shared.

“I was really keen to fast-track my qualification and Junior worked with me to achieve that goal within 9 months. It was an awesome accomplishment.”

During his training in the real-world salon environment at the Ipswich campus, Jackson sharpened his head and face shaving, carving, and clipper-over-comb techniques. Additionally, he gained insights into salon operations including stock management, client retention, and financial transactions.

As Jackson continued his studies and immersed himself in the industry, he discovered that barbering was more than just a skill — it was a way to connect with people, boost their confidence, and leave a positive impact.

“I’m very interested in the culture of barbering. It’s not just about helping people to feel good about themselves, but about building genuine relationships,” said Jackson.

At the TAFE Queensland Ipswich graduation ceremony, Jackson was recognised for his knowledge, skills and commitment to the industry, receiving the ‘Excellence in Barbering’ award. He was also invited to give the student address during the special event, entertaining the graduands and their guests with a didgeridoo performance and his inspirational study journey.

Now Jackson is taking on a new opportunity — opening his own barber shop.

“When I first started barbering, I rented out a chair within a salon. But then the shop became available next door. I reached out to the landlord and organised to take on the lease. It’s next to my mum’s salon in Booval, East Ipswich,” Jackson said.

“Soon we will be renovating the whole shop, and, in the future, I will hopefully be employing my own team of barbers.”

Jackson’s determination and entrepreneurial spirit is certainly propelling him toward achieving both his barbering career goals and business aspirations.

Pictured above from left to right: TAFE Queensland Ipswich Graduation guest speaker and former TAFE Queensland CEO, Ms Mary Cambell, TAFE Queensland barbering graduate, Jackson Midgley and TAFE Queensland General Manager of the South West Region, Jenni Butler at the TAFE Queensland Ipswich graduation ceremony.