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Simply the best at 50

TAFE NSW is known for its accepting and diverse student population, and Justine Fernance is a great example of this.

At the age of 46, the single mother of three boys has enrolled with Hunter TAFE as a first year hairdressing apprentice, becoming possibly the oldest in the entire Central Coast area.

"I thought it would be overwhelming in that environment, I thought people were going to laugh at me," she told The Daily Telegraph. "I was worried because nearly everyone else in the room was 17 and they would think I was a joke. But it's been brilliant. I don't feel out of place and we're all there to do the same thing."

In her professional working life, Fernance has held 35 different jobs across multiple industries including sales, advertising, hospitality and retail. And although she describes herself as a "jack of all trades, master of none", hairdressing is something she's always held a passion for.

She now manages Langdon Hair in Wyong while studying as a first year apprentice. By the time she finished her course she will be 50 years young.

"It's proof it's not too late to do what you really want to do," she said. "I can be the best hairdresser for the next 20 years instead of an average one for 40 years. And I plan to be the best."