About Us.

VARDA (originally Waikato School of Hairdressing) has been under the management of Deb Clark since 1991. During this time VARDA has seen many, many students through its doors and successfully out the other side working in great salons and enjoying amazing careers.

VARDA not only tutors in hairdressing, which is a major focus, but their competencies extend to barbering (which is making a comeback), retail, hospitality, travel, tourism and fashion training. It’s certainly worth considering VARDA as an option for further education and career choices.

Why Varda?

We do what others don’t.

Varda is the only provider in the wider Waikato region who delivers both level 3 and level hairdressing qualifications. We are also the only provider delivering Barbering and Makeup Artistry Level 4.

Our Team

Deb Clark

Deb Clark

Director

Deb bought Waikato School of Hairdressing in 1991 and that year had a total of 10 students. Today Varda boasts 90 plus full time students  a year! Varda is continually evolving as Deb stays ahead of the game to provide the best facilities and highest standard of learning for students. She is extremely proud of Varda’s achievements.

Please note: "I Deb Clark, Director hereby declare that I have no actual or potential material conflict of interest that may arise from my role as a governing member of VARDA."

Cara Healy

Cara Healy

Academy Manager

Academy Manager, Cara works alongside Deb to ensure the school runs at peak performance. This is an extremely busy yet rewarding role with new and exciting initiatives to embrace and implement. Cara has been in the Hair and Education industries for many years and brings a wealth of passion and experience to this role.

Gail Clark

Gail Clark

“Go to Lady” ie stock control. Gail works part time and in the 2 days she's at Varda it's incredibly busy - meeting with reps, organising orders, stocktaking etc. Gailloves working with the students and the Varda team

Michelle Earney

Michelle Earney

Front Desk Manager

Front Desk Manager Michelle, is the first point of contact and welcomes all new students and visitors. She works alongside Cara and Deb to ensure the Academy runs smoothly.

Michelle has worked in the Beauty industry and in administration roles for many years and loves that she can combine the two here at Varda.

Jackie Gallichan

Jackie Gallichan

Jackie's been in the Barbering industry for over 25 years and Barbering is all she's ever wanted to do. She has been with Varda for a number of years as a tutor and she loves sharing her knowledge with her students.  Jackie finds it so rewarding watching them succeed. 

Vinnie Stothers

Vinnie Stothers

Barber Tutor

Vinnie has a passion for barbering. He specialises in modern haircuts with ‘old school’ fundamentals. Becoming a tutor was a natural progression in his
barbering career. Vinnie is a recent Overall Award winning barber at the 2019 NZARH Regional competitions. He enjoys passing on his skills and helping Varda students to become the best versions of themselves.

Rachel Arnold

Rachel Arnold

Hairdressing Tutor

Rachel is an extremely passionate hairstylist who really enjoys tutoring. She is an experienced tutor of all levels of hairdressing, including full time students and apprentices. Rachel loves passing on her skills and knowledge and watching her students succeed. She is a much valued member of the Varda team.

Lisa Vu

Lisa Vu

Off Job Training Tutor

Lisa is a past student who graduated in 1999 and has been working in the industry ever since. She is a qualified Hairstylist and Barber. Over the years Lisa has owned her own salon, up-skilled and completed a number of advanced hairdressing courses and trained those newer to the industry. Lisa is committed to passing on her knowledge and skills and providing a fantastic learning experience to her students.

Jasmine Genet

Jasmine Genet

Hairdressing Tutor

Jazz is an extremely passionate and extremely skilled stylist and tutor who loves the creative side of hairdressing. She has an excellent relationship with all her students and finds it rewarding when they succeed and find themselves.

Lisa Armstrong

Lisa Armstrong

Hairdressing Tutor

Lisa is a past student who graduated in 1999 and has been working in the industry
ever since. She is a qualified hairstylist and Barber. Over the years Lisa has owned her own salon, up-skilled and completed a number of advanced hairdressing courses and trained those newer to the industry. Lisa is committed to passing on her knowledge and skills and providing a fantastic learning experience to her students.

Liz Carey

Liz Carey

Barber Tutor

Liz has been in the industry for nearly 20 years. Originally training with Toni and Guy in the UK as an apprentice, she quickly moved into barbering, and this has been her passion for the past 15 years. She enjoys teaching all levels of barbering and is proud to see her students succeeding in the industry.

Rivay O'Donnell

Rivay O'Donnell

Makeup Tutor

Rivay has been involved in the Beauty Community for 10 years. With a Diploma of Beauty Therapy she then discovered a burning passion for Makeup Artistry. Being able to guide and help others as they gain qualifications and navigate through their journey within the industry gives her a huge sense of fulfillment.

I’d like to say a Thank you to Deb and the whole crew at Varda. The experience I had here was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything. The amazing support from staff and teachers was cherished dearly by myself and I can speak on the behalf of the other students when saying this too.

Thank you to my wonderful tutor for all the one on one learning and teaching you sent my way. Without it I wouldn’t be the great barber I am today. From helping me with cutting techniques to finding me work experience you were always there for me and always put me and the other students first.”

Troy Bernhard
Barbering

Coming to Varda was the best choice I made when I left High School. I’ve learnt professionalism in the Barber trade and I’ve taken it and used it as a life skill. Varda has taught me all the basics of barber skills and the tutors were supportive.

Maia Haumu

Before coming to Varda I was a stay at home mum, so this year was definitely a change for me.

When covid came around it all changed again. We did it and without the support from every single person at Varda I don't know how we would of survived the year. From other students supporting each other and cheering us all on and helping with models, to the tutors and all staff who were there helping us all achieve our goals and supporting us through our tough days too.

Also a big thank you to our tutor for your support, loyalty and guidance.

Megan Brinkworth
Salon Support

To Varda, the staff and of course our amazing tutor, thank you for your endless support and overall patience throughout this course especially through the times where we couldn't see the end. 

This year has been amazing working along side all of you. The amount of support and banter with each other has been incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to have shared this adventure with.

Helena McKenzie
Emerging Stylist

Just perfect! Tutors encouraged me and showed me a lot of new skills and found what I was good at. Varda also relaxed me before completing any assessments that were hard to achieve, helpful tutors and classmates. I started dreaming a new future here at Varda, and Varda also helped me to set my goal for next year too. Thanks, it was the best school I ever went. Miss you all.

Phoebe Choi
‘Salon Support’

“I loved studying at Varda, I loved all the tutors. They were friendly and they believe in me”.

Brittany Richardson
‘Makeup and Skin Care’

“My experience studying at Varda was absolutely amazing. It always felt like a safe learning environment and always had such a dedicated team of tutors and staff to help us with questions or problems. Walking into class always felt homely and welcoming. Our tutor was always willing to help any student and always had a boost of motivation and support to push you to succeed your goals.”

Chloe Curnow
‘Salon support’

I loved the atmosphere, everyone is always happy and all staff are so polite. I also believe that Varda has a great support system for both students and clients.

Jade Coe
‘Makeup’

Varda has helped me so much with my people skills and has made me so much more confident in myself and the things I can do. I’ve learnt a lot being here and have loved every moment of it.

Jamie Paki
‘Salon Support’