TAFE Queensland beauty student Ricci Paulson works on Girls Academy student Porsha Williams’ make-up in the Bundaberg campus beauty salon.

Teens from the Kepnock Girls Academy are feeling newfound confidence thanks to the skills of Certificate III in Beauty Services (SHB30115) students from TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus.

Each week a group of 16 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students visited the TAFE Queensland campus for some pampering and modelling to assist with the beauty class' coursework requirements, with the added bonus of establishing unique mentoring relationships and developing personal confidence.

TAFE Queensland Faculty Director of Creative and Digital (East Coast region) Angela Lisle said the beauty students had planned and designed their concepts for weeks and were excited to have the chance to bring them to life with the participants from the Kepnock Girls Academy.

“Our beauty students always love this unit as it allows them to unleash their creativity and push themselves out of their comfort zone with bolder looks, but this cohort was particularly excited as they got to work with students from the academy,” Ms Lisle said.

“Traditionally our students complete this unit using each other as models, but this gave them the opportunity to practise on people they hadn’t worked with before, and at the same time, mentor teenagers who are deciding on their own career paths."

“This was a chance to bond with these girls, share tips they can use to make themselves feel more confident, and help them discover a different side of themselves. And for the girls, this gave them the opportunity to experience something new and fun that we hope has helped empower them by putting them in the limelight."

"It also gave them a valuable opportunity to visit TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus and learn about career pathways they can pursue either while they are still at school or when they graduate.”

Girls Academy is the largest in-school mentoring and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in the country.

Kepnock Girls Academy program manager Nicole Lange said building the girls’ confidence and self-esteem was an important part of supporting them through school and preparing them for the next step.

“When the girls feel good about themselves, they feel empowered, and empowered girls become forces for change in their community,” Ms Lange said.

“Kepnock Girls Academy was excited to work with TAFE Queensland’s beauty students on this project. The experience has boosted the girls’ confidence and they have gained a lot from spending time with older students in a supportive and encouraging environment.”

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