The politics of everything that matters to mankind in the 20th century

The Politics of Everything

Hosted by Amber Daines, The Politics of Everything launched in May 2017 as a weekly podcast series asking newsworthy experts and leaders the tricky questions about the politics of everything that matters to mankind in the 21st century. 

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Future guests are welcome to contact me with your big idea and include the subject line 'POE idea', your chosen topic and a brief biography. 

November 29th 2022
163: The Politics of Salons - Tenille Lawrence
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A warning that is episode mentions some themes that may not be suitable for all listeners. If you're in Australia and experiencing domestic violence or need to speak to a counsellor, please contact 1800 737 732.

As the winner of AHIA's Australia's Best Eco Salon in 2020 & 2021, sustainability and low-tox living is a huge passion for Tenille Lawrence. She is a multi-award-winning hair stylist that has been fortunate enough to travel the world as a global hair educator for over 15 years. 


While spending years styling hair at runway shows, fashion week events, and magazine shoots was an incredibly fun and exciting lifestyle, this mum of four slowly started feeling sick, stressed, and run down. Tenille was told that during three out of four pregnancies she had developed chemical poisoning from being exposed to harsh chemicals over the years in the hair industry.


Tenille's experience with chemical poisoning motivated her to follow her heart and build the business on sustainable, eco-friendly and vegan ethos, free from harsh chemicals and nasty ingredients while still creating gorgeous hair. She set up the salon and decked it out with upcycled furniture and plants to give it an elective look and feel. A concept that was very popular with the community and environmentally conscious locals and quickly grew into a seven-figure business with 30 staff and another 3 QLD-based salons in a matter of a couple of years. 


In addition to this, seven years ago Tenille had to file for bankruptcy after leaving a domestic violence relationship, and this inspired her to set up a hair salon from home to be able to pay off her debts. This small salon in her garage quickly snowballed with people knocking on her door saying that "A little birdie told me you're a hairdresser" and she quickly got busier and managed to open up her first Brisbane-based salon, called Little Birdie Hair Co, in a large warehouse. 


Tenille is now a spokesperson for sustainability within the hair industry, and she is passionate about the local community and making sure victims of domestic violence are supported in the workplace, being the first hair salon in Australia to work towards getting a White Ribbon Accreditation. 


We discuss:

  1. What parts of hairdressing have the most toxins and how easily can these items be replaced for less toxic options? Please give us some common examples - from hair colour to even the things like the tools you use.
  2. How long were you working in hairdressing before your started to feel unwell from being exposed to chemicals?
  3. What are some of the short- and longer-term health problems these exposures can create and how prevalent is that these days?
  4. Do clients need to be as aware of this when they visit a salon or products we use at home?
  5. What are the main challenges to making a hair salon successful in 2022 and how do you tackle these?
  6. Where else can the salon sector help protect its people better?
  7. Takeaway: What is your final takeaway message for us on The Politics of Salons?



LinkedIn: (48) Tenille Lawrence | LinkedIn

Website: Little Birdie Hair Co - Australia's Best Eco Salon

November 22nd 2022
162: The Politics of Global Mentors - Sahera Sumar
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Mentoring can change your life and your career if done right. One of my standard guest questions asks who their #1 mentor has been and their impact. Most of my formal mentors have been local, as in the same city or at least country ad global mentorship has been limited perhaps by staid ideas of commonality, access and relevance in decades gone by.

Today I chat to Sahera Sumar, the Founder of a social enterprise (profit for purpose) called Worldwide SHEroes or WWS. It focuses on leadership capacity building, by empowering women of diversity and disadvantage to rise to their leadership potential. Their global mission is to support women to achieve economic equity and inclusive leadership and to measure our impact using the UN Sustainable Developmental Goals.

In Sahera's words, this is not your mainstream women's mentorship program.  They provide mentorship through global mentors within 10 Industry categories, connecting women in the developed world, with women who are from emerging economies.  These Mentors are senior women in C-suite, or senior mgt roles who are passionately working with aspiring / emerging leaders from countries such as Egypt, Syria. Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Tajikistan and many more. Their mentees come from international developmental agencies such as Aga Khan Foundation, HOST International and Migrant Resource Centers.

The global vision is for WWS to grow, establish meaningful and aligned partnerships so they can fully digitize our platform; strengthen our learning and development programs and build a greater awareness.

She is drawing upon her own many years of global corporate experience in talent and leadership development to strengthen leadership capability for international development projects and capacity building projects. She Sahera utilises neuro-leadership, positive psychology, and values-based leadership to develop emotionally intelligent leaders and a well-being culture.

Inclusive mentorship and a global vision is what has resulted.

We discuss:

  1. What are the main ways the way we access leadership development changed in your experience?
  2. How exactly does global mentorship work best at a practical and impact level from your experience?
  3. What led you to form SHEroes and why focus on female leaders only?
  4. SHEroes recently celebrated its first birthday, and you now have 550+hours of mentoring under your belt, 60+ mentors and working in 35 countries. How do you plan to expand your reach into new geographies, industries and to begin working with First Nations Women globally.
  5. Take away: What is your final takeaway message for us on The Politics of Global Mentors?





November 15th 2022
161: The Politics of Customer Feedback - Winston Tu
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Customer service is everything for most businesses that last the distance. Our customer loyalty to a brand or business leader can be shaped by our experiences every day and sometimes our feedback is heard, noted, and more importantly positively acted upon, and sometimes, well it is not and the results can mean the end of the road for that business if that is a recurrent theme. After all there is always another airline to fly, another makeup brand to use or another car we COULD buy.

My guest today is Winston Tu, the Founder and CEO of Luxo Living, Australia's leading online boutique furniture store. A trailblazer in the e-commerce sector, Winston has been selling products online since 1999, before the arrival of Ebay in Australia. Winston was an early facilitator of ground-breaking customer-service tools including built-in shipping platforms, which saw Luxo Living save over $300,000 within the first year.

As he commemorates 21 years at the helm, Winston has grown Luxo Living into a leading online retailer that boasts an annual turnover of $22million. Luxo Living offers impeccably made, comfortable home styling pieces at an attractive price point.


The brand has used its customer complaints as avenues to pinpoint areas of growth, allowing it to compete against top brand names within the Australian market such as Amazon, and Temple & Webster.


We discuss:

  1. Customer feedback and customer service are interlinked - what is your view of each as a valuable way to manage your business (or essentially any business)?
  2. Is the customer always right?
  1. Customer complaints can offer ways to unravel pain points and make some decisions faster such as what stock to carry or delete and also how to do better for more customers. With online sales now such a mainstay for many products and services, is that harder or easier than ever?
  2. What systems are needed for excellent customer feedback to actually drive change?
  3. Take away: What is your final takeaway message for us on The Politics of Customer Feedback?






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