Image Consultant, Business Owner and Guest Speaker
Nicola Barnard is a highly respected and internationally recognised image consultant, business owner, guest speaker in the business arena, experienced medical scientist and an author.
Born in Manchester, UK, Nicola moved to North Wales as a child before immigrating to Australia. She spent her school years in rural Victoria before moving to Melbourne to study medical science at university.
As a youngster Nicola was a keen participant in many activities – singing, Girl Guides, St John Ambulance Brigade as well as artistic roller skating and calisthenics. She was willing to give anything a go and enjoyed many varied pursuits.
After qualifying as a medical scientist, Nicola spent 15 years working in that field for hospitals around Australia as well as private Pathology companies. After this time, Nicola’s career took a change in direction as she became an image consultant and led the way in this emerging specialty in Australia.
In addition to a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Graduate Certificate in Career Development and Education, Nicola holds qualifications as an image consultant as well as workplace training and assessment, neuro-linguistic programming and clinical hypnotherapy.
Nicola founded Phoenix Professional Image Management in 2001, building a massive client base. The business transitioned into NB Personal Branding Matters Pty Ltd in 2012. As part of her commitment to ensure the image consulting industry upholds professional standards, Nicola initiated the formation of the Australian Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) in 2003. She is only the ninth image consultant in Australia to receive AICI Certified Image Professional (CIP) international accreditation.
As an image consultant, Nicola has worked with a huge range of organisations, from small to very large, as well as individuals. Some of her clients include BlueScope Steel, Telstra, Coles, AFL St Kilda Football Club, Transport Accident Commission, Aussie Finance, Exxon-Mobil, local and state government and many more.
A lifelong exposure to disability led to Nicola developing an affinity for those who struggle in life. Nicola’s older sister, a key figure in Nicola’s life, is physically and mentally disabled and has been since birth.
An important and satisfying part of Nicola’s work in the image consulting fi eld is with a charity called Fitted for Work, as a ‘Transition to Work’ mentor. This organisation works with disadvantaged women to provide outfits and advice to improve their performance in job interviews, hence leading them to employment and a chance at a better life.
As well as being an image consultant, Nicola is also a skilled career coach and has assisted many people searching for a new career direction or attempting to embrace the new challenge after their professional role has been made redundant.
Nicola’s image consulting advice is in high demand in the media with articles and comments appearing regularly in state and national newspapers, magazines and television news programs.
Nicola has travelled extensively for both work and pleasure around Australia and to the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA.
Nicola is a member of the Association of Image Consultants (AICI), Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) and the international federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW).
Nicola currently lives in Melbourne.