Meet the Judges 2021

As Hattember draws ever closer and we begin to unbox your incredible creations, we are gearing up to judging day! We thought it important to introduce you to each of our amazing judges this year – with a combination of in-person and remote judging due to widespread lockdown in Australia from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to welcome many different perspectives to the panel.

Neil Grigg

Having judged the competition for the past 3 years, Neil Grigg is our Veteran Hattember judge and generous sponsor. In his 30-year career, Neil has created thousands of hats for brides, race-goers and celebrities alike. He has also created headwear for theatre productions such as Miss Saigon, 42nd Street, Glimpses and Les Miserables.

Renowned for his beautiful hand-made flowers, enchanting feather-work, and an endless imagination, Neil designs his headpieces to complement the particular individual style of each client. His bridal wear ranges from delicate headpieces through to flowing full-length veils. His race wear channels a vintage elegance that has a theatrical edge and individuality which has resulted in many of his clients becoming finalists or winning “Fashions on the Field”.

Margaret Gill

Margaret Gill is a renowned milliner and costume maker. She has worked as a milliner and maker for some of the biggest films and events, including ‘The Great Gatsby’ (nicknamed the Great Hatsby), ‘I am Woman’, ‘Ladies in Black’ and ‘Peter Rabbit’. She has recently worked as head milliner on George Miller’s new film 3000 Years of Longing and has worked on the upcoming Marvel movies ‘Thor Love and Thunder’ and ‘Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings’. We couldn’t be more excited to add Margaret’s unique perspective to the judging line up.


Rick McGill

Rick McGill is one of Australia’s most respected milliners with a lifetime of experience. Although, personally, Rick admits he’s partial to a cap, he has created spectacular hats for film, stage and couture, including Nicole Kidman’s headdresses in Moulin Rouge. Other cinematic credits include King Kong, Queen of the Damned and two Star Wars films. He has been a mainstay at Opera Australia and the Sydney Theatre Company with his on-stage hats appearing in The Phantom of The Opera, Love Never Dies, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding, Aladdin and Frozen. Most recently Rick’s work has featured in Shaun the Sheep’s Circus Show for CIRCA and he is currently working on the stage production of Moulin Rouge. He has lectured in Fashion Millinery across the country.

Rick fell into millinery in the sixties while studying Bridal Wear at the famed Emily McPhearson college in Melbourne. Rick is a master of colour and materials and manages to merge the very different demands of Opera, Stage and Fashion to create a work with an incredible feel of its own. His hats combine the practical and the fantastical with truly beautiful results. A Melbourne native, his work has been exhibited at the Adelaide Festival and is held in the Performing Arts collection of South Australia.

Rosie Boylan

Rosie Boylan, a Sydney based milliner of 35 years, creates character headwear for Feature films and Television series.
As a headwear educator, Rosie teaches performance headwear to Costume students at NIDA.
From her Newtown studio and store, Rosie creates and styles casual hats for men and women.
Rosie collaborates with Pacific weaving communities to create unique contemporary headwear. Sharing creative, business and production skills to enable regional pathways into the global Creative Industries marketplace.

Christine Waring

From her inner-city Canberra studio Christine has become one of Australia’s leading milliners. A professionally trained model milliner, she is invited to European hat festivals, teaches when she finds the time and has been creating original designs for the heads of our nation’s capital for almost 20 years.

When Canberra’s elegant feel a need to attend a military parade or embassy reception, a race carnival or garden party, a wedding – traditional, quirky or (vice-regally) internationally, like Camilla’s wedding in London – they confidently turn to something by Christine.

Sometimes art, often fun; her hats are always so very wearable. As many winners of best-dressed or best-hat at important Australian racing carnivals have acknowledged, now more than ever Christine’s hats integrate your view of contemporary fashion with artistic flair and edgy trends.

Original lines drawn with professional skill, perfect fit and flawless finish.

Member of the Australian Millinery Association since 2001.

Rebecca Read

Rebecca Read is head milliner at Opera Australia and has leant her expertise to judging Hattember for three years in a row. To hear more about Rebecca and her amazing work, listen to her interview with here