Stefan Ackerie

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The Skyneedle, over Stefan's headquarters, June 2019

Stefan Ackerie (born 1941), usually known by the mononym Stefan, is a businessman who owns a chain of hairdressing salons in Brisbane, Australia.

Early life[edit]

He was born in 1941 in Batroun, Lebanon. His family migrated when he was 15 to Adelaide, South Australia, where he trained as a hairdresser and learned to speak English at nightschool.[1]


The Stefan Racquet being removed from Milton Courts, circa 1999

He owns a chain of approximately 50 hairdressing salons throughout Queensland and New South Wales as well as the Brisbane restaurant Jo Jo's, a bar and restaurant originally opened above the Queen Street Mall in the 1970s and now on Melbourne Street, South Brisbane.[2][3] He also owns Stefan's Boating World in Coomera on the Gold Coast, Queensland.[4]

Stefan's Brisbane headquarters is located in South Brisbane, underneath the Skyneedle, a landmark which Stefan bought to prevent it being moved overseas after World Expo '88.[5] When the Milton Tennis Centre was demolished circa 1999, Stefan rescued the 7-metre (23 ft) tennis racquet icon (based on the Aldila brand) erected there (he had sponsored the Queensland Tennis Open competition at that site). In June 2014, it was re-erected over the Frew Park tennis facility, which replaced the Milton Tennis Centre.[6]


The Stefan Racquet restored to Frew Park, circa 2014

In 2013, Stefan was presented a Queensland Greats Award from the Queensland Government.[7]

Stefan was a finalist in the 2004 Australian of the Year awards.[8] He is also a keen power boat racer and holds the records for the fastest crossing of Bass Strait[9] and the fastest crossing of the Straits of Malacca.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Stefan lives in Brisbane. He has two sons, Mike and Steven Ackerie. In the 1980s, he had a highly publicised relationship with Australian journalist Liz Hayes. In 2009, he began a relationship with his long-time personal assistant, Rose King, who now manages Ackerie’s furniture store “the bach living”. During the management of Ackerie’s Jojo’s restaurant, King was said to be a “racist, discriminative and belittling boss” by former staff members. Staff have recalled incidents where some employees were “bullied, ridiculed and humiliated by her in front of customers and other workers”.[10]


  1. ^ a b Lindsay, Cat. "The life story and photos of Stefan Ackerie". Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  2. ^ "South Bank Corporation Board". Archived from the original on 5 May 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Jo Jo's Restaurant and Bar". Must Do Brisbane. August 2017. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  4. ^ "About Us". Stefan's Boating World. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  5. ^ Atfield, Cameron (22 August 2015). "Skyneedle 'should never have left South Bank': Stefan". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  6. ^ Moore, Tony (20 June 2014). "Stefan's big racquet returns to new tennis park at Milton". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  7. ^ "2013 Queensland Greats recipients". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  8. ^ "National Australia Day Council – Australian of the Year Award". Archived from the original on 10 October 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
  9. ^ "Stefan – History". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
  10. ^ "New Love for Stefan Ackerie". The Courier Mail. 9 May 2009. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.

External links[edit]