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Empowering women in Geelong’s Afghan community

Azizeh Maher is a proud Afghan woman carving a path of inspiration and empowerment through her pursuit of education and passion for beauty therapy. Her story is a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of vocational education within her industry.

Azizeh's journey began at The Gordon, where she studied a Diploma of Beauty Therapy. Coming from a community where higher education for women is not always the norm, Azizeh saw her studies as a gateway to, not only personal fulfillment, but also as a beacon of hope for others in her community.

"In Geelong, we have a small Afghan community, and I unfortunately don’t see more women pursuing their studies in higher education. I believe, with me completing this course, I can be a good role model for younger girls in the Afghan community," Azizeh said.

Since leaving The Gordon, Azizeh has been working for the region’s esteemed Saltair Spa in Torquay. Her manager, Kelly, speaks glowingly of Azizeh's ability to excel in every service offered by the spa, particularly her ability to communicate with customers.

“She’s just amazing. She can do everything, and if someone is struggling, she’ll just jump in and help straight away. Azizeh just goes the extra mile for everyone that comes into Saltair Spa,” Kelly said.
Beyond technical proficiency, Azizeh credits The Gordon for providing her with a hands-on learning environment that honed her skills and prepared her for the workforce.

"Being a student at The Gordon was the best experience. There was lots of support for students, especially for students who have English as their second language," she acknowledges, underscoring the institution's commitment to inclusivity and excellence.

Saltair Spa owner and founder, Tamara Mellis, concurs that The Gordon’s quality of training is unrivalled.

“We choose to hire graduates from The Gordon because of their exceptional level of preparedness and readiness for the industry, their graduates thrive in professional environments.”

Azizeh recently won the Hair and Beauty category award at The Gordon Awards for Excellence night, recognising her exceptional commitment to her beauty therapy studies.

“When I found out I was nominated for this award I was really excited. It was a bit hard to believe at first, but surely one of the biggest achievements of my life so far.”

Azizeh's journey serves as a reminder of the transformative power of vocational education and inspires others to pursue their passions and reach for their dreams.

To learn more about a career in beauty therapy, register for an information session at The Gordon Geelong City Auditorium (H1.03) on Tuesday 7 May from 5pm.