WITH bright lights, music and make-up spread out, you would have thought you had stepped into a studio in a city, not that of Blackwater's new training facility, CSaT.
Former Blackwater resident Cherie Wilcox has set up a venture to help kids get a head start with a regional training centre to flow on from her main facility in Rockhampton.
Offering certificates in nail technology, make-up, beauty, and hairdressing - just to name a few - Cherie wanted to give back to the community, which "was so good to my family".
"I lived in Blackwater for over 12 years, teaching at the Blackwater TAFE and Blackwater North State School, as well as running a swim school here, and have always been mindful of what a special place it was," she said.
"I wanted to give something back to the community, particularly now as times are so tough."
The centre has opened up on Mackenzie St, and hairdresser Erika Sedgeman said she joined forces with local make-up artist Tiarah Ormsby to roll out a week's intensive.
"Cherie and I are both secondary teachers, and it was always her dream to train - we'd talk about it in the lunchroom," she said with a laugh.
"The business is tough in all aspects, but Cherie is dedicated. She's always had a soft spot for Blackwater."
Tiarah said she had eight years of experience in make-up training from working in Melbourne, and it was wonderful that local girls had this opportunity to learn.
"It's a central location for Emerald and Tieri, where we have students," she said.
"I am based in Blackwater, and Cherie approached me. It's such a great opportunity to give students the tools and knowledge and help them master that training before they're competent."
Blackwater State High School Year 11 student Kaitlyn Taylor said she was in her second year as a hair apprentice at Hairworx while undertaking her Certificate III in Beauty. "It's been really good so far, and I'm learning a lot from the hands-on experience." Kaitlyn said she enjoyed applying make-up on real models and learning from industry professionals.
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