He's a hair-raising halfback
Not only is the National Indigenous under-18 schoolboys rugby union team a formidable group of opponents, they also sport some of the hottest on pitch hairstyles, thanks to their apprentice hairdresser, halfback Lincoln Bowman.
Brisbane-based Bowman, 17, is 10 months into his three-year school-based apprenticeship and his new skills are proving popular with teammates.
"The boys like it because they get new styles and it allows me to be creative." Bowman said.
Hairdressing has been Bowman's hobby since high school.
As a boarder he used to practise his "cutting technique" on his mates in the dormitory.
When it came to making career decisions in year 10, Bowman realised he had a head start.
"Rather than go to university, I decided hairstyling was what I really wanted to do and, since the school already did some school-based apprenticeships, there was an opportunity to start my career straight away," Bowman said.
The process of securing a school-based apprenticeship meant that Bowman had to find his own employer.
After a lot of ringing around and networking, he heard that Vanilla Salon in Newstead was looking for an apprentice.
"They are considered to be a really good salon, so I wasn't sure I would get in, but I thought I'd have a go," he said.
"I was asked in for an interview and offered the position."
Vanilla Salon set up Bowman's apprenticeship with the assistance of Sarina Russo Apprenticeship Services.
Before he knew it. Bowman was "chucked straight into the deep end" doing colour and cuttings on models, helping out stylists, dealing with customers and keeping the salon tidy.
"You're on your feet all day," he said. "The only time I sit down is when I'm on the phone, so it also helps that I'm fit."
Bowman works at the salon two days a week and Saturdays when he can.
At the end of his three-year apprenticeship, Bowman will graduate with a Certificate III in hairdressing.
While its been relatively easy to balance his apprenticeship with school, rugby has proved a little harder to work around.
"Sometimes I'm late for training or I might rock up to the salon with a black eye," he said.