Leadership | Business | Entrepreneurship
Building a Resilient Future

How do you keep up to date with new and different opportunities for your business? REALtalk is a business forum that incorporates speakers, panels and industry specialist all sharing ways to future proof our industry.   

Attending the REALtalk Business Forum will help you understand the importance of staff team building, feedback and communication. Gain ideas on handling staff wellbeing, staff management, culture and mental health. With the importance of sustainability at the forefront, this will be discussed along with waste reduction and new technology. Embracing and understanding the digital world and it’s ever changing landscape will be a major topic which will included social media best practices. Reviewing an approach to a holistic salon will certainly be a highlight of the session. Looking into what the consumer is thinking and understanding trends will be another element for this information packed session.

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, discussion will focus on many important aspects of running a business today. There are three key panels with industry leaders and innovators who will discuss trends that are affecting you.

REALtalk Business Forum creates a more connected conversation to build a more resilient future and is scheduled to take place on Sunday 30 June 2024 from 9.00am to 1.00pm.

Take a look at the 2024 REALtalk Business Forum program below.


Sunday June 30, 2024 | 9.00am – 1.00pm | Parkside 1

8.30am – 9.00am Coffee and registration
9.00am – 9.20am

Welcome by Cameron Pine (mcee)

9.20am – 9.40am Staff Performance & Team Building Solutions
Voulla Fronis, Founder, Gellibn
9.40 am – 10.10am Panel – Staff Management, culture and feedback discussion
Clive Alwright, Co-Owner, Our Place Salon
Jose Bryce Smith, Founder, O&M
Sheridan Rose Shaw, Creative Director, MAMAWEST
10.10am – 10.40am Panel – Holistic Salons – The Future
Cass Donnelly, CEO, CPR Hair
Natalie Chadwick, Digital Sales Coordinator, CPR Hair
Shakira Jade, Business Coach
Paul James Graham, hair stylist
Jade Jones, Holistic Salon Coach
10.40am – 10.55am Morning Tea
10.55am – 11.15am Dealing with difficult clients and complaints
Faye Murray, Director, Your Coach
11.15am – 11.35am The New World of Sustainability
Steven Ko, Founder & CEO, O’right Inc.
11.35am – 12.00pm Panel – Innovation
Aygun Sana, Head of Sales and Operations – AUS/NZ, Vish
Paul Frasca, Sustainable Salons
Kate Champion, Entrepreneur and Business Owner
12.00pm – 1.00pm Unlocking Fresh Social Media Opportunities in 2024
James Fitzgerald, Managing Director, SMK
1.00pm Recap End of REALtalk
1.00pm – 2.00pm Buffet lunch – Outside Parkside 2

*Program subject to change 

Realtalk Speakers

Clive Allwright

Clive has been in the industry for over 37 years, from starting his apprenticeship with Toni & Guy in their original Mayfair London salon in the 1980s. Working alongside his mentors Dennis Langford & the four Mascolo brothers. Clive also lived and worked in Hong Kong for Le Salon group for 2 years. He moved to Sydney in the mid-90s to undertake the role of Artistic Director at Tony & Guy Australia. In 2001 Clive moved to LA and accepted the position of the Global Creative Director for KMS. A role that saw him traveling the world working on all areas of KMS shows, education programs, and international photographic brand campaigns.

Over the past 14 years, Clive has Co-owned Our Place Salon in Potts Point SYD with his business partner Kelly Grant. During this time Clive continues to showcase his cutting educational skills today with brands such as Muk & Paul Mitchell. Alongside his own private bespoke education sessions.

Natalie Chadwick

Natalie Chadwick is CPR Hair and The Circle’s Creative & Digital Sales Coordinator. With a passion for cultivating innovative campaign concepts and providing strategic direction, Nat plays a pivotal role in the direction of CPR’s brand. She nurtures our expanding brand ambassador team #CPRSquad, spearheads engaging education projects, and infuses every project with her contagious energy and creative vision.

Kate Champion

Kate Champion, a former banker with no formal beauty training, took a leap of faith as one of the pioneering owner operators of Laser Clinics Australia (LCA) in 2009. Kate successfully juggled various head office responsibilities alongside managing her own clinic operations. These responsibilities include overseeing marketing, designing and implementing clinic spaces, financial reporting, supplier negotiations, and developing training and operational guides for the franchise model. Working alongside an exception team, LCA grew exponentially, boasting over 100 sites and employing 1000 staff members. In 2017, the beauty industry witnessed a milestone as private equity firm KKR acquired LCA for a groundbreaking $650 million, setting a record for Australia’s beauty sector.

Having gained invaluable insights and experiences from her journey with LCA, Kate has embarked on new endeavors. Whilst raising a young family and relocating to Paris for a year, she has co-founded a conservation charity, The Sapphire Project, completed 5 residential property development projects featured in both Vogue and AD magazine, ventured into the styling business with Hiring Heirlooms, and is now preparing to launch Cheveux Et Peau, a hair salon and beauty space due to open in September.

Cass Donnelly

Cass Donnelly, the CEO of CPR Hair has an unwavering passion for the Australian hairdressing industry, and his Salon First philosophy (prioritising the needs and success of salon owners and their businesses) is the driving force behind his numerous achievements. Cass is also the creator of the truly predictable, true-to-swatch colour system, CPR Colour. The CPR colour system empowers your creative genius and takes your colouring to the next level. In 2024, Cass launched the Holistic Salon Service © program, a journey for salon owners and teams designed to transform every salon visit into a unique, enriching experience.

James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald is the Executive Director of Programming at SMK.

SMK is a global EdTech business specialising in marketing capability transformation, offering both continuous and one-off, discrete learning experiences for brand, government, not-for-profit and agency clients.

As Executive Director of Programming, James is responsible for devising and developing all blue chip and corporate education programs. James has taught over 15,000 senior business decision-makers from leading brands, organisations and agencies, including NAB, ABC, Apple, Ralph Lauren, Tourism Australia, Air NZ, Sky TV and many more.

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.

Voulla Fronis

At the age of 15, Voulla embarked on her hairdressing journey, driven by a passion for creativity and a desire to make people feel their best. Over the years, she honed her skills, eventually becoming an award-winning stylist and educator. Her calendar was consistently booked with enthusiastic clients and she dedicated a significant portion of her time to training and mentoring young stylists, guiding them towards their own success stories.

With up to 100 staff members under her guidance at any given time, she discovered that, regardless of the field, her true passion lay in people. She understands the complexities and joys that come with running your own business, especially when it involves managing a team. This understanding led her to a singular mission: to empower business owners who invest their hearts and souls into their ventures. She founded gellibn with the vision of providing a comprehensive solution for business owners, equipping them to lead their teams with confidence, value their contributions, and ultimately, create a thriving environment destined for success.

Paul James Graham

Paul James Graham, a highly acclaimed stylist with an extensive list of accolades, has already left an indelible mark on the hair and fashion world.

Working with renowned fashion designers and featured in esteemed publications, Paul’s unique and creative aesthetic has earned him numerous awards, such as being a three-time finalist in the 2022 AHIA Awards and winning the Avant-Garde Hairdresser of the Year at the 2021 Australian Hairdressing Industry Awards, among others.

Shakira Jade

Shakira Jade is a Business Coach with a passion for helping women blaze their own trail in business, focusing on building a successful stree-free salon business with her proven frameworks. Shakira is the Founder of three salon locations of her brand Hair Candy Australia, and also is the Host of chart topping podcast, The Success Club.

Shakira has now aligned with The Circle as a Business Coach, hosting education tailored to CPR salons who wish to grow their salon brand through systemisation and processes.

Steven Ko

Sustainability pioneer, environmental trailblazer and ardent advocate for planet earth, Steven Ko founded O’right in 2002, started Green revolution in 2006, navigated the company’s transition to becoming the world’s first zero carbon beauty company. Since 2020, for three consecutive years, it has achieved carbon neutrality across all product categories and organizational operations in scopes 1, 2, and 3, surpassing RE100’s renewable energy targets ahead of schedule. Clinching the coveted “Enterprising Leader Award” from RE100, and being honored with the global Best Business Case Award by Reuters UK and the Bloomberg Green ESG Environmental Vanguard Award, further solidifies its commitment to sustainability.

O’right’s Green Headquarters has garnered accolades from ten prestigious global architecture design awards and holds national certifications as environmental education facilities. Its green influence extends internationally, attracting coverage and recognition from renowned media such as Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist Group, CNN, and Nikkei, who have sought interviews, speeches, and commendations.

Steven has been invited as a keynote speaker at APEC and the United Nations Climate Conferences from COP25 ~COP28, he anticipates the dawn of GEP (Gross Ecosystem Product), advocating proactive carbon neutrality for businesses and products. Last year, Steven has even received an exclusive invitation from UNFCCC as the only Taiwan’s SME corporate representative into the blue zone of COP28 for a speech, marking a significant milestone.

Faye Murray

Faye Murray, the director of Your Coach is one of Australia’s most respected business coaches and business speakers.

She is a hairdresser, so she understands real salon situations. Throughout her career she has trained hundreds of hairdressers, many who have gone on to be today’s industry leaders.

Her proudest achievement is being the first person to be inducted into both the Hairdressing Hall of Fame and Beauty Hall of Fame.


Aygun Sana

Aygun Sana is the Head Of Sales and Operations – AUS/NZ at Vish. A diligent and dynamic Business Development Professional with 20 plus years in the hair industry in Australia and America, with strong business acumen, management qualities, and excellent communication skills. Motivated and results-driven, Aygun excels in client relationships, communication, and new business development strategies. With extensive experience in sales and sales management, Aygun is passionate about sustainability and technology and its ability to drive business growth.

Sheridan Rose Shaw

Sheridan Rose Shaw is 11 years clean and sober & the unstoppable force behind MAMAWEST! Where life’s too short for sh!t hair!

With a trailblazing career spanning 17 years, she’s left quite an organic mark on Melbourne’s inner west community & hairdressing industry, bagging accolades like AHFA Artistic Team of the year — FT, AHIA Victorian Salon Of The Year 23, Newcomer Salon Of The Year award, Most Innovative Business Of The Year Award, Contribution to Business Award, AHIA New creative talent & HOT SHOTS finalist, and even making it into the prestigious Australian FAME TEAM 2023!

Sheridan is an all rounded hairdresser though her passion for creative cutting & colour knows no bounds! She’s on a mission as a salon owner to nurture and empower the next generation of hairdressers & shape shift the future of the hairdressing industry!

Jose Bryce Smith

Jose Bryce Smith is the Founder of O&M and a clean beauty entrepreneur. Jose conceptualised O&M to eliminate harsh chemical products that were harming hairdressers and clients, replacing them with natural products, prioritising health and wellbeing.

Opening her first ammonia free salon in 2000, the Jose attracted a mass of like minded conscious customers that gave her the confidence to pursue the O&M clean beauty vision.

Jose is a firm believer that haircare is a health choice, she is passionate about changing the trajectory of the beauty industry, ensuring salons and clients alike have the healthiest haircare experience possible, without compromise.

In 2010, Jose launched O&M’s care and styling collections, along with the Free From Five formulation (sulphates, parabens, propylene glycol, MIT or Triclosan). In 2013 she created what chemists claimed was impossible, a permanent professional hair colour with zero ammonia, PPD or resorcinol.

Continuing to innovate, the brand created a revolutionary technology ‘CØR.color’, a colouring system that pre-links base and reflects colour pigments, allowing them to develop more effectively and evenly. This gives superior coverage while minimising the risk of scalp irritation.

Jade Jones

Jade Jones is a dedicated Holistic Salon Coach who teaches the 6-week Holistic Salon Service© course and offers expert business coaching services. With a focus on elevating salon standards and promoting holistic well-being, Jade empowers salon professionals to achieve excellence in their craft and business practices. Her coaching integrates professional communication, technical skills, and inspiring narratives, fostering a transformative salon experience. Through personalized guidance and support, Jade helps salons enhance their client satisfaction and community engagement.


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