REALTalk Business Forum
Leadership | Business | Entrepreneurship
Anticipating Tomorrow

Navigating the ever changing business world in the current market is increasingly challenging. Attending the REALtalk Business Forum will help you better understand how to evolve and make the essential investment in your business of the future.

REALtalk Business Forum creates authentic, inspirational and unbranded conversations on what matters to our industry, with usable ways to grow your business, inspire your salon staff and review your service offering.

With a significant line up of Internationally and locally renowned keynote speakers discussing every important aspect of running a business today, plus we have curated three key panels with industry leaders and innovators to dissect the real conversations and trends that effect you. Real Talk creates a more connected conversation to better anticipate tomorrow.

On Sunday 12 June, the esteemed REALtalk format will presented in two sessions. You can pick the session you prefer to attend, or book for the whole day.

Book your REALtalk tickets now for $245 (ex GST), FULL DAY, or $145 (*ex GST) for a half-day session.
Consider Hair Festival All-Event pass that includes REALtalk and everything else the festival has to offer for $595 (ex GST).

To ensure you don’t miss this limited opportunity to sit and converse with industry leaders, book early and ensure you will be one of the lucky group to have raw, informative and engaging conversations.. REALtalk is more than just advice. It will leave you with fresh ideas, actionable business planning, overcome change and form new connections.



Realtalk Program

Session One  
9:30am- 9:35am Introduction
9:35am – 10:35am Terry Hawkins – The Tough Talk
10:35am – 11:20am Panel: Salon Culture and Leadership
Sharlene Lee, Circles of Hair; Jaye Edwards, EdwardsAndCo; Tom Donato, Xiang Hair; Rita Marcon, Goldwell; Chris Hunter, Willomina Salon
11:20am 11:50am Morning Tea
11.50am – 12.50pm Conscious Consumerism
12.50pm – 1.45pm Networking Lunch
Session Two   
1.45pm – 1.50pm Introduction
1.50pm – 2.50pm James Fitzgerald – Social Media Beyond Vanity
2.50pm – 3.35pm Panel: Salon of the Future 
Simone Abaron, Apotecari; Paul Frasca, Sustainable Salons; Lance Kalish, Salon Lane; Richard Kavanagh, piiq Digital; Sandy Chong, Australian Hairdressing Council
3.35pm – 3.55 pm Afternoon Tea
 3.55pm– 4.40pm Panel: Technology and the Salon Experience
Renya Xydis, Dyson; James Shale, Dyson; Kristy Hines, Aveda; Brooke Jones, Beau-Tex
 4.40pm – 5.40pm Phill Nosworthy– Full Stack Resilience
 5.40pm – 5.45pm Cameron Pine – The Final Wrap
5.45pm  Networking


Realtalk Speakers

Terry Hawkins

Terry Hawkins is an award-winning author and education architect, and globally recognised presenter. As a retail education pioneer with over 100,000 alumni through her programs, 100’s of companies have experienced the solid results from her renowned retail education systems (Progress Retail). Terry has built a reputation as one the greatest education influencers in the retail industry in the past 3 decades(strongly influencing brands such as SDS, Ella Bache and Optus, and with long-standing clients such as MECCA brands, SEED Heritage and many more); Her name is synonymous with sustainable and results-based education, and how-to’s that merge business and mindset.

Phill Nosworthy

Phill Nosworthy is an executive advisor, speaker and writer in the subject areas of meaning, leadership and high performance. His insights into personal mastery and career acceleration have gained him a cult following among high performers in Fortune listed companies the world over. He has worked in more than 40 cities globally and counts Microsoft, AFL, Universal Music and GitHub amongst his clients. Additionally, he is the founder of Switch L+D, a bespoke learning and development partner for leading brands around the world.

Phill will help us uncover new levels of emotional resilience and how to become ‘anti-fragile’ in leadership and life. He will empower you to create a business that is resilient and can weather any challenge.

Richard Kavanagh

Richard Kavanagh is a five-time Australian Session Stylist of the Year and has worked with many international fashion powerhouses, including Prada, Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier and Saint Laurent.

Simone Abaron

Simone Abaron, Founder of Apotecari Bioactive Hair Care, is a master formulation naturopath and trichologist who takes the complexities out of nutrition and inner health to deliver high quality, potent, sustainable, and ethical health & wellness products to market.

Lance Kalish

Lance Kalish, co-founder and executive director of Salon Lane, is a serial entrepreneur and recognised among Australia’s most accomplished international consumer product builders and social entrepreneurs.

Paul Frasca

As Managing Director of Sustainable Salons Paul travels Australia and New Zealand to speak about waste management in hair, beauty, fashion, hospitality, medical and education industries, and how to adopt a more sustainable approach in their everyday lives and businesses.

Sandy Chong

Sandy Chong is a key influence in the Hairdressing Industry. Currently she is the CEO/Director of the Australian Hairdressing Council and Director of COSBOA (Council Of Small Business Organisations Of Australia) representing small business. She speaks on behalf of the industry to Government, creating relationships to support an industry that is often overlooked.

Her role at the AHC has established better business practices, training and education and building sustainable careers for the future of the industry.

Sandy’s vision is to create an industry that has the highest possible standards in ethics, technical ability and workplace practices.

Jaye Edwards

Jaye Edwards reps a new breed of entrepreneur with 8 thriving salons, 1 killer haircare brand, a cult social media following and an internationally recognised team of educators.

Sharlene Lee

Three time Salon Business of the Year winner and arguably hairdressing’s most energetic entrepreneur, Sharlene Lee has successfully expanded her Circles for Hair brand into two of Perth’s top salons.

Tom Donato

Xiang Hair first opened its doors in 1989 in a small suburban salon in Melbourne’s west. Founder Tom Donato set about building a strong creative force in Australian hairdressing and now has over 35 staff members and many industry accolades.

Chris Hunter

Chris frequently worked on editorial shoots & fashion weeks both in Australia and abroad with Wella, opened his own salon WILLOMINA in 2017 and recently launched CoMMMunity, an events company run by hairdressers for hairdressers.

James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald is the Executive Director of Programming at SMK.
SMK is a specialist learning and development organisation which exists to help businesses use social media, mobile and digital channels more effectively.
As Executive Director of Programming James is responsible for devising and developing all blue chip and corporate education programs. James has trained over 10,000 senior decision-makers on how they can optimise and enhance their digital marketing and communications, including leaders from: Apple, Air NZ, Sanitarium, UNICEF, Ralph Lauren, News Corp, Holden, Flight Centre, Tourism Australia & CBA, to name just a few
Launched in 2010, SMK was the first dedicated social media marketing learning & development organisation in APAC. SMK trains and educates more professionals on the subjects of social media, content marketing, online video and digital than any other organisation in the region.

Brooke Jones

BeauTex is a consciously designed clothing label providing Sustainable clothing and timeless foundations for the modern, urban worker.

Renya Xydis

Renya Xydis is a Sydney-based hairstylist and salon owner. She’s also a hairdresser to the stars, having styled the likes of Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Naomi Watts — to name a few.

Kristy Hines

Kristy Hines, beauty industry guru, hairdresser, public speaker and co-owner at Element – Haus of Aveda, will join the Technology Panel to share her knowledge.

James Shale

James joined Dyson in 2015 and is now involved with monitoring Environmental Care and Airblade products in-market to ensure that globally, the products meet Dyson’s rigorous Quality and reliability standards.

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