Cut Above Celebrates 40 Years of Fabulous!

The who’s who - and the talented new - of the beauty world were at the Aotea  Centre on the 16th February when The Cut Above Academy celebrated an impressive 40 years in the hair and beauty business with a Ruby Anniversary Party and Academy Awards Spectacular. 

Highlights of the evening included a Maori welcome and performance by the 35 member Fetu Aro Choir. Award-winning opera singer Zane Te Wiremu Jarvis performed a wonderful rendition of the New Zealand national anthem and sang again with the choir as the ‘Masquerade’ fashion show showcased Cut Above students’ hair and make-up designs, on models wearing Style Pasifika 2010 finalists’ designs

Stephen Joyce, Minister of Tertiary Education, was entertaining with humour about his own lack of hair, and said  "Cut Above hair graduates wouldn’t be able to do much for him, but perhaps the special effects make-up artists could!” He praised Gael Thompson for the incredible job she has done in educating the many students over the years. 

Mayor Len Brown led the audience in singing happy birthday ‘Cut Above’ and remarked that students were graduating at the perfect time, with more and more film opportunities being made available in Auckland’s new supercity.

In recognition of league legend Ruben Wiki’s inspiration to the Cut Above students, Carol Hirschfeld presented Warriors star Reuben Wiki with a  spectacular bronze bust of his image created by Nori Honda – Head of The Cut Above FX department ( ex Weta, Lord of the Rings etc).

Cut Above directors then presented "Bravo” awards to alumni who have achieved distinction in the hairdressing, beauty, make-up and film/TV industries. The honoured recipients were:

1.Mobine Bhikoo, Director Steven Marr Newmarket, Ponsonby/ & Takapuna

2.Jock Robson, Director of Dharma Hair / Finalist NZ Hairdresser of the Year 2011

3.Jo Rose Kerrison, Director Foxie Hair and recipient MIT Pacific Businesswoman


4.Hayley Marlow, Award winning Film / FX Makeup Artist currently at Weta Workshop

5.Celeste Strewe, Award winning Film / TV  Make-up Artist currently working on a film

6.Kelly Ren, Award winning FX Make-up Artist –director of own Special Effects company

7.Bianca Fallon, Award winning Head of Makeup Maori Television 

8.Grace Ward, award winning beauty and spa therapist 

The Cut Above Academy provides NZQA approved qualifications in the creative industries – including hairdressing, make-up artistry and production design for fashion, stage and screen; beauty and spa therapies and special effects artistry. The conferment of diplomas for the classes of 2010 was undertaken by Rosemarie Curry and Margaret Walsh for Beauty Therapies and by Rodney Wayne and Gary Marshall for Hairdressing.

The event ended with a spectacular SFX makeup dance show to the music of ‘Thriller’ and ‘Poi E’.
Images then joined the after-party of around 1,500 VIP guests drawn from cultural cross-section of New Zealand hairdressing, beauty, fashion and entertainment industries, local celebrities and media.