Gary Strachan

Founder, Deadly Hair Dude

2023 NT Australian of the Year Nominee

Gary Strachan was a successful businessman with hairdressing salons across Darwin when he switched gears to give back to the community.

He studied law, worked with the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission, and realised his passion was to help young people break the cycle of offending.

Gary launched Deadly Hair Dude in 2020, a not-for-profit Indigenous and special needs training program for Aboriginal youth in remote communities.

The program centres on providing training in remote communities in which young people feel supported, leading to greater success.

Gary has personally put $100,000-plus into the training program and set up salons in remote communities – giving trainees a pathway to employment post-training.

He recently began working with the Federal and NT governments to develop a horticultural program in remote Indigenous communities to improve food security and quality.

He’s also exploring aquaculture training opportunities and developing mud-crab farming enterprises on remote communities.