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Sarnya cannot ‘conceal’ her passion for beauty as she celebrates a decade with CQUniversity

Published:05 June 2019

Mackay-based Beauty Therapy Teacher Sarnya Clarke recently celebrated 10 years of service with CQUniversity.

When it comes to working in the beauty industry, Sarnya Clarke is as passionate as they come.

In 2009, fresh off the plane from London, the Mackay-based Beauty Therapy Teacher accepted a job with CQUniversity TAFE and never looked back.

Fast forward to 2019, and Ms Clarke has clocked up 10 years of service with the University and is extremely proud of how far the beauty department has come.

“When I first started with CQUniversity, we had two teachers and only offered two beauty qualifications, with one intake for each,” Ms Clarke said.

“Now, we have a team of four teachers and offer a range of qualifications in beauty, makeup, nails and remedial massage via two methods of study, as well as traineeships. We have also grown from an eight-bed treatment room to two state-of-the-art rooms, each with 14 electric treatment beds and nail tables.”

Ms Clarke realised her passion for the industry from a young age when makeup became the standout feature of everything she did.

“My mother has always been fashionable and stylish, and growing up, I loved and still do, the beauty that she portrays,” she said.

“When I was younger, I would also watch any movie that included special effects, and loved doing makeup for my dance events throughout primary and high school.”

After obtaining a Diploma of Beauty Therapy and Certificate III in Remedial Massage, Ms Clarke secured a job at a local salon in Mackay, which unbeknown to her, was the beginning of a rewarding beauty career.

“At first, I started as a tea and tidy person. I would clean the salon skirting boards with toothbrushes, but it didn’t bother me as I was determined to work hard to achieve my dream,” she said.

“I commenced a traineeship with the salon, once I completed high school. It was an amazing opportunity for me as the salon had a vast array of services. The salon also had up-to-date technology, which helped me gained specialised beauty skills.

“After completing my traineeship and working in the industry for a number of years, I applied for a beauty management position in London and was offered the job shortly after.

“Every day was exciting, but I especially loved learning the Shirodhara Ayurveda treatment, which involved involves pouring soothing oil over the third eye (forehead) with body treatments and massage. Interestingly, the three product ranges I used in London are used to teach beauty here in Mackay – Dermalogica, Bio Sculpture, and Lycon.”

When Ms Clarke returned from London, an opportunity to teach beauty with CQ TAFE arose, which she said had provided her with many years of fulfillment.

“What I love most about my job is seeing my students grow throughout their academic journey, and helping each student reach their full potential. To see them become so passionate about the industry I love is extremely rewarding,” she said.

“I have so many amazing student stories. I especially get excited to read the where are they now stories, such as Torrie Marshall’s, which highlighted the top spas she has worked in since I taught her. It’s fantastic.”

Ms Clarke said with the right skill set and training, a beauty qualification could take you anywhere.

“As a beauty therapist, you need to be able to multi-task, communicate effectively and make your clients relax; continually push yourself to read professional magazines and take up training opportunities because the industry is rapidly changing all of the time,” she said.

“Most people don’t realise how much knowledge a beauty therapist requires. This is the amazing thing about completing a beauty qualification - you learn so much about different areas of the body. There are so many avenues that it can take you.

“I have been so blessed to work at many different salons, that I find it hard to pinpoint one thing I love most about my career thus far. However, I do know that I will continue to teach up-and-coming beauty therapists for many years to come."