Industry stalwart Donna Gannon has sadly passed away at the age of 73 after five year battle with breast cancer. She leaves behind a 58-year legacy in hairdressing and a community that will dearly miss her and hold her in their thoughts.
Donna began hairdressing in 1962 in Melbourne salon Rene Henry, and opened her first salon in 1972, eventually operating a chain of successful salons in Melbourne. Building on this stature, she joined the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Association in 1985 and was director of the association for ten years, while also serving on the Hairdressing Industry Training Advisory Council, which provided advice to Government about the industry’s training needs.
Donna’s inimitable career continued to ascend, as she became the Australian distributor for Paul Mitchell in 1990, before she co-founded Headmasters Advanced Training Academy, a Vocational Training College for hairdressers providing training to apprentices and to students studying hairdressing in the full-time mode in 1997, pushing the education platform ever forward.
Donna’s lifetime in the hair industry was anchored by her passion for working with both the legends and emerging talents of the field. While her philosophy was ‘surrounding yourself with giants and you become a team of giants’, Donna was a proud mentor to many and nurtured young talent for generations in the community. She was renowned for her love of business, keen eye for skill, enthusiasm and magnetism, with an ability to truly push students to become the best they could be. This quality has materialised after her passing, as past students and hairdressing figures thank her, credit her and remember her for their own place in the industry now.
She will be loved and remembered in the hairdressing community for a storied career, important presence and a true passion that made the community a better place.
Vale Donna Gannon.
To donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Donna’s honour, click HERE.