Creations of the night

Students of Victoria University's Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services showcased their extraordinary skills as they transformed volunteer models into characters from movies, books and their imaginations at VU’s annual Night of Notables held on 25 November at Southbank’s Showtime Events Centre.

The Night of Notables is the highlight for students in the widely respected year-long diploma program. VIPs and industry guests mixed with friends and families of students to marvel at the creativity and talent of VU’s specialist make-up students as they exhibited their graduating projects.

This year, 65 students created the likes of Marie Antoinette, Nanny McPhee, Amy Winehouse, The Joker, an Avatar, and Sleeping Beauty, among many other well-known fictional, historical and real-life characters.


The students spend hundreds of hours to create every aspect of their characters, including fashioning wigs, constructing prostheses, designing costumes, and applying body and face makeup.

Liana Milne, 23, originally from Traralgon, won this year’s Specialist Make-Up Student of the Year for her leadership, teamwork, creativity and skills. She also received awards for best wig and the industry award (sponsored by Kryolan Professional Make Up) for her extravagant creation of a fairy-floss-like pink-haired Marie Antoinette.


“VU’s specialist make-up course has been amazing,” says Liana. “I didn’t know anything like this existed before I enrolled, but it was exactly what I was looking for. The teachers are all from industry and have great contacts.”

Completing the course has been a significant achievement for Liana who has struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to finish a course since high school because of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Everyone at VU has been very supportive of my condition. It means so much to me to be able to even just complete the diploma – coming away with awards was just a bonus.”

Liana now hopes to put her talents to use in Europe working in the fashion industry.

The Encouragement Award for a ‘rising star’ went to Tessa Di Pietro whose character was Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit.


Other students nominated for the 2013 Specialist Make-up Student of the Year were:

  • Sarah Jones
  • Maddie Wilks
  • Rachel Echols
  • Ellie McEvoy

The CUA51015 - Diploma of Screen and Media (previously Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services) equips students with the range of specialist skills required for a future as a make-up artist be it photographic, theatre, period, special effects, television, film or fashion. It is the only make-up course in Australia to encompass fashion and the arts and offer a direct pathway into hairdressing.

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