Meet our Co-President and Board Director Merrill Gratton for the Beauty Industry

Merrill Gratton is an experienced Hair & Beauty Education Manager with a strong background in the VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector and industry collaboration. With a demonstrated history of success, Merrill possesses a diverse skill set including team leadership, facilitation, teacher training, management, project management, international business, and organizational development.

Merrill, with over 29 years of experience as an Educational Manager at TAFE SA, served as a Board Member representing RTOs (Registered Training Organizations). Additionally, she has recently taken on the role of Board Director for SAHBA (SA Hair & Beauty Association) for the past 9 months.

Having graduated from the University of Tasmania, Merrill is a vocational education professional who has made significant contributions to the industry. Currently serving as a Strategic Program Manager at The French Beauty Academy, the largest Beauty RTO (Registered Training Organisation) in Australia, Merrill plays a vital role in shaping the future of beauty education.

Before entering the realm of vocational education, Merrill gained extensive industry experience as a Hairdresser and Technician for L’Oreal, a renowned beauty brand. This hands-on experience provides Merrill with a deep understanding of the industry and enables them to bring real-world insights into their role as an education manager.

Merrill’s commitment to excellence and passion for fostering growth and development in the beauty industry have positioned them as a valued asset in the field. With a strong track record of managing strategic programs and collaborating with industry stakeholders, Merrill is dedicated to driving innovation and ensuring high-quality education in the hair and beauty sector.

Through their leadership, expertise, and dedication to advancing vocational education, Merrill Gratton continues to make a lasting impact on the industry and shape the future of hair and beauty education in Australia.

Connect with her on LinkedIn HERE


Meet our Co-President and Board Director Marcela Lastra for the Hair and Barbery Industry

As a renowned figure in the hairdressing industry, Marcela’s commitment to the hairdressing industry extends to her involvement with the SAHBA (South Australian Hairdressing and Beauty Association) board.

For the past three years, she has dedicated her time and expertise as a volunteer, working tirelessly to represent and advocate for the industry in South Australia.

Marcela is the proud founder of the award-winning Salon Longko Salon, which she established 15 years ago, showcasing her exceptional talent and dedication to her craft. Building on her success, Marcela recently embarked on a new venture, opening her second brand, Mr & Ms Salon.

Recognized for her expertise and innovative approach to hairstyling, Marcela also serves as a Guest Artist for De Lorenzo Haircare, where she travels across Australia, sharing her knowledge and teaching haircutting techniques. She firmly believes in the importance of education for the progression of the industry and actively contributes to its growth.

Beyond her professional achievements, Marcela has made significant contributions to the community. She passionately advocates for hairdressers to become involved in the community, particularly in supporting those in need. Through her initiative, “No Strings Attached,” Marcela provides free haircuts to community groups and hospitals, both within Australia and abroad.

In addition to her busy schedule, Marcela finds immense joy in being a devoted mother to her two growing boys. When she’s not immersed in the hairdressing industry, Marcela channels her passion and creativity into the art of cooking, transforming it into a beloved hobby Marcela’s multifaceted life and unwavering dedication to her profession and community make her a truly inspiring figure in the world of hairdressing.

Connect with Marcela via LinkedIn HERE