M Division is thrilled to announce that Brett Mckinnon is the 2015 Creative Director for the F.A.M.E team, the members of which will finally be announced this Sunday at the AHFAs. To get to know Brett a little more, we thought we would turn the tables and ask him some of the questions that the TOP 12 were asked during Round II of judging. Ladies and gentleman, meet Brett:

Current Role: Co-Director The Murphy Gozzard Hair Community

Time in Hairdressing: 30 years

Biggest career highlight to date: The creation of The Murphy Gozzard Hair Community with my partner Brett.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Generous, Organised, Creative

How would you describe your mentor /coaching style? To me, a mentor is a guide who can help others find their right direction. I avoid dictation always and also favouring my own personal style as being ‘the right way’. I like the people that I mentor to have their own personality, and have that reflect in what they do and how they do it. If the people I mentor begin to wander off the path to achieving their goals, I am able to use my skills and experience to guide them back on it.

How do you handle stress? As I have got older I have learnt to cope with stress much better. I don’t let the ‘little things’ get me down and if there is an issue I like to work through it immediately before it gets bigger than it really should be. To de-stress I love to do the harbour walk around where we live in Pyrmont with our dogs and listen to music. I walk every morning before sunrise and usually that’s where I solve any issues that are stressing me and also where I come up with my best ideas.

What type of leader are you? An inclusive one.

Are you an ideas person? Yes

Are you a roll your sleeves up type to person? 110% I like to be involved right the way through a process from conception to the end.

What are your key strengths? I think that I am a very patient person and I like to be organised. I love seeing young people achieve their goals whether it be personal or professional. I’m very socially aware and grateful for the incredible opportunities that I have had in my life and I love the fact that now I have an opportunity to give back not only in hairdressing but in to our society in general.

What are your key weaknesses? I am not good a saying no which is something I’m working on especially as a parent – trying not to spoil our son.

What characteristic do you find most challenging to work with? Those who have large egos who refuse to do anything that is of no direct benefit to themselves.

Why is peer consul and mentoring so important in your eyes? Young people can learn so much from other young people. Whilst the imparting of knowledge from a position of experience is enriching the ability to grow and develop amongst your peers is incredibly powerful. F.A.M.E is a team of 4 young people , working for 12 months in a dynamic that is totally organic. Their support of one another as a group will have a huge impact on their development as individuals.

Your most memorable mentor/s and why? I have been so lucky in my career to have worked with some of the most talented and influential people in our industry. Particularly during my time as an educator and having the opportunity to colour hair for people like Shane Henning, Sharon Blain, Benni Tognini and many others the thing that I most got out of working with these people is that their passion and their dedication is never ending. They have worked so hard to get where they are and still have such a love for what they do. I also love listening to them and finding out what/who inspires them as it’s often the most unexpected thing or person. On a personal level my parents have been my biggest mentors seeing them work from really having very little to becoming leaders in their field has been my biggest inspiration for working hard and following my dreams.

Biggest mistake you have made to date in your career? I know that this may sound/ does sound cliché but I really believe that there have been no mistakes just experiences to learn from and grow. They are only mistakes if you didn’t learn from them .

What advice would you have given your 20 year old self? I started my apprenticeship when I was 20 , so the first thing would be to congratulate myself on making the right choice. I was extremely passionate about my career right from day one and never said no to any opportunity that came along , my advice now would be to still do that but I wish that I had travelled more and worked overseas as I opened my own salon as soon as I completed my apprenticeship I would have loved to have gone to London and done the whole 2 year work visa bit before getting into business. I also would advise my younger self to look after my physical self better than I did as I am paying the price now as hairdressing can be so physically taxing .

How did you feel at the end of Round 2 judging? The whole judging process was so inspiring for me. I was lucky enough to be able to read personally the 43 entries in the first round and I was totally blown away by the dedication and passion of these hairdressers and what they have done in their relatively short career span. Then to see the finalists at the round 2 judging doing hair in their skills test and then present on stage in front of some of our industry’s greatest I felt so proud that we have this enormous pool of talent in our country and so excited to be a part of this journey. We are going to have such a strong team this year and I cannot wait until they are announced at the AHFAs in two weeks time.

What do you think is the most unique thing about F.A.M.E Team initiative? The opportunities that the 4 team members are given over the 12 month period make this initiative totally unique. To be mentored by not only Australia’s greatest hairdressers but to also get to travel to the UK and be mentored by the leaders in our profession and also to represent Australian Hairdressing and show their skills on stage at Salon International in London.

What are you personally looking forward to the most about the F.A.M.E Team 12 month schedule? I am most looking forward to seeing the growth and development of these 4 very talented hairdressers and seeing them take their career to the next level. I loved watching the journey of last year’s F.A.M.E Team through social media and on stage at Hair Expo. Leesa Smith did an incredible job as Creative Director last year and I know I have very big shoes to fill, but I have picked my best pair and I am ready to follow in her footsteps.