The Millinery Association of Australia’s Committee
is elected each year in November at the Association’s AGM.

Fellow members are invited to submit a written application each year
prior to the AGM to be considered eligible for any of the ten positions available.

The Committee consists of four executive positions: President, Vice President,
Secretary and Treasurer and six ordinary committee members.

To apply to become a member visit the application page here

Lauren Ritchie – VIC

Lauren J Ritchie - President - The Millinery Association of Australia

Lauren completed her Millinery training at Kangan Batman Institute with a Certificate IV in Millinery. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion from RMIT University and has a Graduate Diploma in Education from Deakin University.

Lauren has spent time working in Louise Macdonald’s studio in Melbourne before working for Edwina Ibbotson and Jane Taylor in London.

She now runs her own studio under the brand Lauren J Ritchie producing pieces for every occasion. She is also a contributing Editor for The Hat Magazine, writer for Hatlines Magazine and Head of Content for Millinery.Info.

Rachel Henry – VIC
Vice President

Rachel started her millinery training at the Melbourne Fashion Institute under the guidance of Rose Hudson and went on to complete Cert III and IV at Kangan Institute with Serena Lindeman.

Originally from England, Rachel and her hubby, Simon, now call Australia home along with their two young children, Olive and Jesse. She’s based in Melbourne’s western suburbs in the beach side suburb of Seaholme where she has created her home studio.

This is Rachel’s third year as a committee member and second as VP. She is passionate about hats, about lifting the profile of millinery and wants to promote the wearing of headwear every day!

Fiona Cooper – VIC

Years ago Fiona was affectionatly called ‘Laa Laa’ by her young nephew who couldn’t pronounce her name. So it was only natural that it became the inspiration for her brand ‘Millinery LAA LAA‘.

You may think you see lots of photos of Fiona on social media but take a second to look twice. She’s a triplet! But what you may not realise is that she’s also a twin. Yes, an identical twin within a triplet set! She says even Facebook recognition technology can’t tell her and her twin sister apart and they are always being tagged incorrectly!

Fiona’s first love is millinery. She studied at Kangan TAFE in Richmond and graduated with a Cert IV in 2010. Her other love is snow skiing. She likes nothing better than to hit the slopes, breathe in some crisp alpine air and enjoying après ski wearing an amazing winter hat!

Millinery Association of Australia
PO Box 2074
Hampton East VIC 3188

Chris Mullane – VIC

Chris is mum to four boys and she ran a successful dairy distribution business with her husband Rob for 30 years until it was recently sold.

She lives on a small hobby farm south of Melbourne with a menagerie of animals, including a pet pig and a peacock. She’s always been an avid race goer and over the years has owned several racehorses, including one that ran second on Oaks Day in 2014.

Chris got into millinery due to her love of racing and studied at Kangan TAFE graduating with a Cert IV in millinery in 2018. She took out the win at MIMC ’19 with her signature hat…a modern take on a classic 60’s pillbox.

Andrea Cainero – NSW
Ordinary Member

Most well known for her work as costume designer for iconic Australian band Empire of the Sun, Andrea is a costume and fashion designer who trained at the infamous East Sydney Tech, Fashion Design Studio TAFE NSW, where she is now also the Head Teacher.

She has freelanced for the likes of Collette Dinnigan, Lisa Ho, Bare by Rebecca Davies and Ginger and Smart and has also run her own self titled label.

Since starting a family 3 years ago, she had an increasing pull towards finding a creative outlet that built on her extensive and diverse fashion and costume background, allowing her to create bespoke one off headpieces ranging in style from classic with a modern edge, to the flamboyant and avant-garde. 

Andrea found herself often dreaming of past travels ‘somewhere’ in the world, but also grateful to be ‘here’ where she is in life today. An advocate for everyday hat wearing and bespoke high fashion pieces, she recently launched her headwear business, Somewhere Here, a concept which combines her love of artisan couture fashion techniques with traditional millinery to create bespoke headpieces for the modern woman with an edge.

Oksana Caretti – SA
Ordinary Member

Oksana Caretti works as an Office Manager for her family’s manufacturing business in Adelaide while pursuing her passion for millinery in her spare time. She finished Cert IV in Millinery at TAFE SA under Lorraine Gill and was awarded the Best Millinery Student of the year in 2017.

Oksana is a racing fashion enthusiast and has won many FOTF competitions wearing her own design millinery at local racing events. She also placed 2nd in the MAA Design Award in 2018, won Best Millinery Exhibit at the Royal Adelaide Show in 2017 and placed 2nd in the Masters of Millinery category at the Royal Melbourne Show in 2018.

Oksana loves art, history, fashion and ballet and not many people know that Oksana comes from a family of ballet lovers with her sister, Diana Vishneva, being recognized among the Top 10 female ballet dancers of the 21st Century.

Oksana’s role in MAA Committee this year is to organize the MAA Design Award which was unfortunately postponed in 2020 due to the global Covid pandemic.

Catherine Ellen – VIC
Ordinary Member

Catherine Ellen is the owner of The Essential Hat in Melbourne, a quality hat shop since 1996.  As part of her expanding business Catherine also runs the Melbourne International Millinery Competition and Convention.

Catherine is organised, pro-active and a qualified Workplace Trainer.

She also believes strongly in mentorship and has taken on numerous work experience students over the years including some from overseas.

Catherine lives in Flemington within a stone’s throw of the famous Flemington Racecourse where the Melbourne Cup is run each November.

Jo Peterson – VIC
Ordinary Member

Jo is a bit of an adrenalin junky; she has her pilot’s licence, loves scary rides, has tried skydiving and has lived in both Canada and Saudi Arabia. She now calls Melbourne’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula home and with her background in haematology and bone marrow transplant she works as a clinical nurse specialist in a busy chemotherapy clinic at the local hospital.

As long as Jo can remember she has always been involved in crafty type stuff from sewing and quilting to knitting and cross stitch (and so much more in between) but it was when she discovered the art of millinery that she really got excited!

Jo has been a member of the Millinery Association since 2016 and a committee member for the past three years. Her focus has been writing and publishing the MAA newsletterMillinery Matters and assisting with the new-look website.

Her biggest millinery thrill to date has been winning the inaugural Patron’s Pickaward as chosen by Stephen Jones himself from the ‘Top 10’ finalists of the MAA Design Award in 2019.

Catherine Storm – VIC
Ordinary Member

Catherine started making hats and headpieces while living in Europe and her work has sold around the world and featured in fashion parades in the UK, France, China and Australia.

After leaving a corporate role with Heineken in Amsterdam, Catherine took the opportunity to build on her dressmaking expertise and learn the art of millinery.

“I could always make my own special occasion wear such as Melbourne Cup race wear, but I was always reliant on someone else to make my hats. Learning millinery gave me the freedom to create complete outfits that matched my vision exactly.

After relocating from Amsterdam to Edinburgh, Scotland, Catherine established her own label and now, back in her hometown of Melbourne, she continues to create European influenced millinery.

Catherine is a Fellow Member of the Millinery Association of Australia and a member of the 2021 Committee.

Lindsay Whitehead – VIC
Ordinary Member

Lindsay began his Millinery journey when he was studying pattern making and sewing at Wagga TAFE in 2007. He continued to learn at TAFE and then with the Riverina Community College under the guidance of Rose Organ and then with tutors like Waltraud Reiner, Niel Grigg and Eugenie van Oirschot.

Lindsay has been involved with costumes for many years making for theatre and film before moving to Melbourne to study Fashion and Costume. Taking over at Torb and Reiner was the latest step in Lindsay’s career, where he has transformed the business to its latest iteration, Millinery Hub.