Former salon owner volunteers in India

Anne Cathers, previous owner of Skin Alive in the Sydney suburb of Concord, a two-time winner of the AAPA award for excellence, closed her successful business and travelled to India in March 2009 to work as a volunteer in Chennai for an organisation called Intermission Industrial Development Association.

IID was started in 1974 to provide practical training for orphans and slum dwellers. As times changed, IID has continued to be visionary and is always seeking to provide skill focused training in jobs that will provide employment. In 2002 IID started some Community Colleges around Chennai that are accredited with the Indira Ghandi Open University.

According to Cathers (pictured second from left), three years ago the IID management team recognised that beauty therapy was a booming industry in India and decided to explore the possibility of starting a course.

Cathers and her husband, Ian, are working as volunteers at one of the colleges until the end of 2010, establishing a beauty therapy training course to commence in January 2010.

“I have written an appropriate course outline that caters for the educational level of participants as well as local beauty practices,” Cathers said. “Beauty therapy is growing rapidly in India, and employment in this sector is one way that poorer people can benefit from the increasing wealth of the middle class and will aid many women who may otherwise be unemployed. However, resources are difficult to obtain and funding has to be generated to start a new course.”

With the initial set-up costs for a beauty therapy course being high, Cathers has estimated that AUD$10,000 is required to purchase equipment and products, renovate the existing rooms and train two women as assistant trainers for the course. Belle Porschelle, Australian distributors of Pier Augé, is a prinicipal sponsor, and Cathers is using Pier Augé in her training and treatments.

Cathers is also seeking donations from the beauty industry in Australia. To help sponsor this program please email Anne and Ian Cathers at

For further information about IID, visit

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