Wilcannia Marketplace Hair Salon | Australia

Wilcannia Marketplace Hair Salon

Partner | CatholicCare Wilcannia Forbes

Location | Wilcannia, Australia


The Wilcannia Marketplace project builds on the successful CatholicCare social enterprise initiative, the Cooee for Coffeecoffee shop, creating employment opportunities whilst filling service gaps in the remote community of Wilcannia in New South Wales.

The focus of this MWIA-supported project is to establish a hair salon as part of a marketplace hub in the centre of town, providing a safe public area for the community to meet and connect.


First Nation’s communities feel a deep connection to country; therefore, leaving to find employment in other areas is not an option. As such, the hair salon project targets First Nation’s women aged 15+ by creating job opportunities within the Wilcannia community.

Focus on upskilling to increase employability is prominent in regional communities, but employment opportunities are scarce, with limited small businesses available to provide much-needed jobs. The hair salon project and its surrounding marketplace brings financial independence to many First Nation’s women and has a positive ripple effect through their immediate families and the broader community.


This project specifically aims to:

  • Improve employment opportunities for First Nation’s women.
  • Increase financial independence for First Nation’s women.
  • Promote community connectedness and informal networks of support.
  • Address a service gap in the remote township of Wilcannia.

The hair salon has been successfully registered under the name ‘Cooee for Cuts’ and a fully qualified hairdresser has been employed.

Participants have the opportunity to put learned hairdressing skills into practice through work experience, work placement, and casual and permanent employment at the ‘Cooee for Cuts’ hair salonThere are already six women who have completed a Certificate III in Hairdressing and are keen for an opportunity to put their skills to use.