Selina Tomasich takes volunteer hairdressers to developing nations to teach basic haircutting skills. Interviewed by Winn Claybaugh, she shares tragic stories about life in the slums and streets, and the simple solutions that bring immediate results.
Selina Tomasich Founder and CEO of Hair Aid Inc.
Selina Tomasich is the founder and CEO of Hair Aid Inc., an Australian-based charity that takes volunteer hairdressers to street and slum communities in developing nations to teach those living in critical poverty how to cut hair. Hair Aid assists these families with immediate and measurable results, through the help of caring hairdressers.
Selina believes education is the key to providing opportunities to improve lives. With a passion for finding real-life learning events for students to engage in and create change in the world, and a vision of providing hands-on learning and livelihood empowerment training for people living in critical poverty, Selina started Hair Aid in 2010. Today, each project has up to 30 volunteers who train 260 people to perform basic haircuts in a five-day period. Selina manages these complex international projects and, with her husband Mark, attends every project to provide encouragement and ensure every volunteer is supported.
Selina also manages Hair Aid Community Cuts (HACCs) programs, coordinating 40-plus free haircut events that occur every six weeks in communities throughout Australia. These free haircuts provide dignity and respect to those in our communities who need additional support. Homeless people, those suffering domestic violence, youth, indigenous, migrants, and those in ICU and long-term care in hospitals are all recipients of HACCs programs. More than 4,100 free haircuts were provided in 2017 to those in need.
As a Queensland-based academic lecturing in Business at the University of Queensland as well as at Queensland University of Technology, Selina describes herself as a "dedicated nerd" with a passion for learning. She holds five university qualifications as well as an international inventors' patent for creating online technology. She has created eight apps, written academic books, and been published in peer-reviewed journals.
While many people congratulate Selina on the way Hair Aid has grown under her watch, she always recognizes the Hair Aid Ambassadors, the Hair Aid board, and the thousands of supporters who provide knowledge, resources, time, and dedication to the Hair Aid vision of #changingtheworldonehaircutatatime.
Interviewed by Winn Claybaugh, Selina shares firsthand, difficult-to-hear stories of children and families in developing nations. She shares how truly simple it is to make a difference and challenges us to imagine the shift in energy we could create.
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