Following a full day of education and inspiration at the annual HairBiz Forum in Brisbane, a record crowd of over 500 guests celebrated in style in the Grand Plaza Ballroom at the BCEC on Grey Street, Brisbane at the 2017 Australian Hair Industry Awards (AHIA) Gala Dinner.

Following arrival drinks and entertainment by Puzzle Dust Glow Show, resident MC Mr Will Fennell, guided the evening’s festivities with finesse and charm introducing each individual presenter representing their respective company for this multi sponsored event.

Winners were announced in 22 categories including recipients of the 2017 Special Recognition Award – Sustainable Salons Australia and 2017 Vidal Sassoon Humanitarian – Brett McKinnon.

The AHIA Hall of Fame Award was presented to Andrew O’Toole following a heart felt video compilation of congratulatory messages from Errol Douglas MBE, Angelo Seminara, Joey Scandizzo, Frank Apostolopoulos and Lee Cohen,

In just four short years, the AHIA’s have cemented their position as the only business awards in the hair industry and this year introduced online submissions and judging This resulted in almost double the number of entrants all wanting the coveted title of WINNER in the AHIA’s which are now clearly seen as the benchmark of excellence for hair salons and in Australia.

“This year we have seen unprecedented growth both in the number or entrants, sponsors and guests to the gala dinner. Being recognised for business success is something salons are very proud of and the title of AHIA Winner allows them to enjoy great publicity bringing more business back into their salons,” said Linda Woodhead, owner of mocha publishing and founder of the AHIA’s. “By going online this year, we were able to include many more judges both here and overseas. A great move forward and something we are very excited about. Each year we see such a high calibre of entrants and the gala dinner is a combination of celebration and entertainment that I feel honoured to be a part of.”

The 2017 HOT SHOTS team were also announced on the night following all finalists receiving their recognition trophy.

The evening ended with all guests taking to the dance floor to the sounds of the band "Virtuosity" and then it was off to the afterparty at the Charming Squire Bar.

2017 Australian Hair Industry Awards WINNERS

Junior/Apprentice of the Year

Louise Williamson, Stevie English Hair

Salon Stylist of the Year

Leslie Henshaw, Next Hair

Salon Manager of the Year

Kelcie Murray, Dare Hair

Business Director/Owner of the Year

Brodie-Lee Stubbins, Rokstar

Salon Design

Edwards & Co

Best Customer Care

Elysium Hair Brisbane

In Salon Training


Best Marketing Award


Salon Team of the Year

Elysium Hair Brisbane

Best Barber Business

Barber Boys

Best Franchised Salon

Toni&Guy, Newtown

Newcomer of the Year

Tigerlamb Portside


State Salon of the Year NSW/ACT

Bond Hair Religion

State Salon of the Year QLD


State Salon of the Year SA

Orbe North Adelaide

State Salon of the Year VIC/TAS

Hoopla Salon

State Salon of the Year WA/NT

Revampd Hair Studio

The Australian Salon Business of the Year

Bond Hair Religion

National Wholesaler of the Year

Salon Hair Care SA

Special Recognition Award

Sustainable Salons Australia

Hall of Fame

Andrew O’Toole

Vidal Sassoon Humanitarian Award

Brett McKinnon