Haircuts that make a difference

When he needs some motivation, Chief Petty Officer Jessie McFarlane gives himself a haircut.

CAPTION: Chief Petty Officer Jessie McFarland runs a barbershop for charity on board HMAS Adelaide. Story by Flying Officer Brent Moloney. Photo by Leading Seaman Sittichai Sakonpoonpol.

Now, he’s opened that up for the crew aboard HMAS Adelaide.

If that’s not motivation enough, the proceeds, at $5 a cut, are divided equally and donated to Beyond Blue and the White Ribbon Foundation charities.

As a senior sailor, Chief Petty Officer McFarlane sees the unofficial barber shop as an opportunity to connect with the junior members of the crew.

“I wanted to be more approachable to the juniors and this has really helped me to do that,” he said.

“Some haircuts are like a counselling session, some are quiet and some are full of laughs – and that’s all fine with me.”

When Chief Petty Officer McFarlane realised his training as a barber would help to motivate his team, he didn’t hesitate to get the clippers out.

“To boost my own morale I cut my hair – then I offered it to my team. Word got out around the ship, so I started up the barber shop,” he said.

“It helped me build my network with the guys around the ship. Sure, I can cut women’s hair, but so far, no one has been brave enough.”

As the stores accounting officer, Chief Petty Officer McFarlane leads a team of four and is not one to shy away from a difficult conversation – he’s serious about mental health and highlighting the impact of domestic violence.

“Through my own experiences, I’ve learned that verbalising your problems early, with people you trust, is a great way to start improving your life,” he said.

Lieutenant Commander Nikola Ford, the ship’s maritime logistics officer and Chief Petty Officer McFarlane’s boss, is proud of the work he is doing to boost morale around the ship.

“This is typical of the type of person that Jessie is – always interested in helping others and focused on bringing team Adelaide together to support a charitable cause,” Lieutenant Commander Ford said.





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