SuniTAFE Teacher of the Year – Jess Kendrigan

SuniTAFE Teacher of the Year – Jess Kendrigan
The value of the beauty industry can often be overlooked. This is something that SuniTAFE teacher Jess Kendrigan is determined to change. 

Jess has been a teacher at SuniTAFE for three years. She currently teaches SHB30121 Certificate III in Beauty Services and SHB50121 Diploma of Beauty Therapy. 

Her lessons are backed by a wealth of experience. 

Jess currently holds a Diploma of Beauty Therapy from Elly Lukas Beauty Therapy College in Melbourne. She has also obtained internationally-recognised certificates in Beauty Therapy.  

Using these qualifications, she has worked and managed a range of salons and spas in both Mildura and Melbourne.

She also ran her own makeup artistry business for six years, which she believes to be the highlight of her career. 

“I think I've done something like 43 weddings where I have been a part of getting ready in the morning. It’s such a privilege to have someone else pick you to be a part of that morning,” Jess said. 

It is this joy and passion in which Jess is eager to pass on to her students, while conveying the importance of the industry. 

“The beauty industry is just such an underrated industry. A lot of people have the assumption that we just paint nails and have coffee and have a chat. But, it's so much more than that,” Jess said. 

“As a teacher, I'm able to provide the students with the skill set of making other people feel beautiful and that really is what our job is. In the world that we live in today, in the society that we live in, I don't really think there's a better skill set to have or to learn than to make other people feel good about themselves.”

Jess believes that this ability to positively impact a client’s self-confidence is the real intent of the beauty industry.

“I feel very fortunate that I have a job where I can make other people feel good about themselves. It’s not a quality that every industry does have, it's really such a unique quality.”    

To ensure that her students are best equipped to meet the current demands of the industry, and provide this unique quality to clients, Jess has recently pushed for changes within her department. 

“As a beauty team, we have all collectively worked together to try to get a more functional facility in the salon to make it more industry current and to get more advanced machinery.” 

This will be of great benefit to students entering the workforce. 

“We, as a beauty team, feel that by having current equipment, students will be going out to the industry with the knowledge of how to use that equipment and the benefits of it.”

“As an example, spa-pedi chairs are everywhere at the moment in beauty salons. So, we have them too so that when the students get employed, they'll already know how to use one,” Jess said. 

It is this initiative and collaboration that contributed to Jess winning SuniTAFE Teacher of the Year for the 2022 academic year. She received this award at this year’s Graduation and Awards ceremony. 

Jess finds great joy in teaching her students and is always delighted to see them succeed. 

“My absolute favourite part of my job would have to be seeing that lightbulb moment in a student where they finally get the sequence right for a massage, or they’re starting to see results with facials with clients. It’s seeing the students actually be able to do what they’re learning. Their sense of accomplishment is really satisfying to see,” she said. 

Interested in working within the beauty industry and learning from experienced instructors like Jess?
Click here to learn more about studying SHB30121 Certificate III in Beauty Services or SHB50121 Diploma of Beauty Therapy at SuniTAFE or call 1300 478 648.