Woody Point QLD
About Hat Academy
About Elaine Mergard
Elaine Mergard lives on the north of Brisbane and for 50+ years
she has been teaching and creating Millinery.
When did you make your first hat?
As a teenager in the 1960s we wore hats everywhere. I made
my first hat in 1964 during my training as a Home Economics
Teacher. We were trained over 2 years in all fields of millinery
so we could teach millinery in Adult Education with the
Queensland Education Department.
When & where did you commence teaching Millinery?
In 1966 at the age of 20, I commenced teaching Millinery
classes with Adult Education in Brisbane. I have taught in
TAFE colleges in Central Queensland & Sunshine Coast
during the 1980/90’s also at Queensland Museum &
University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
When did you establish your millinery business?
In 1990 when we moved to the Sunshine Coast with my family,
I established “Hatrageous Headwear” & worked as a full time
Milliner with a home-based business. In my retirement I seek to
mentor others to become the Best in Millinery.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
In the early 1990’s my goal was to create hats with an
outrageous styling, so these soon created media attention with
my hats featured on national TV & print media. A real highlight
was receiving a phone call in 2003 from Her Excellency Ms
Quentin Bryce, Governor of Queensland asking me to make
her hats while she was in Office. This was a privileged
Every time I see the delight on the clients face as they try on
their customised hat …that is a highlight. Seeing my students
compete on a national level has thrilled me over the years. In
2017 at the ‘Hats Off to Adelaide’ Millinery Conference, much to
my surprise and delight I was inducted into the Millinery
Association of Australia Hall of Fame for my contribution to
Millinery and the Association.
Do Milliners retire?
I will continue to be innovative & share my skills with young
Milliners. No, I can never let my love of hats go & look forward
to mentoring new Milliners as I share my skills globally on
My Mission is to create the next generation of Milliners by
teaching techniques enabling each one to develop their