Williamstown’s Lisa Hughes is on a fast track to success after being invited to enter the Oaks Day Millinery Award and having two hats selected for display in Business of Design Week in Hong Kong.

She is a student at Kangan Institute, which was chosen by the Victorian government to showcase pieces in the Hong Kong event’s Great Southern Style exhibition.

Two of Hughes’ hats, inspired by the Great Barrier Reef, will appear in the exhibition, which will run from December 1-9.

The second-year mature-age student has one more year of study to complete.

“Kangan has been the best move I’ve ever made,” Hughes said. “I have had, and still continue as a freelancer to have, a great career in advertising, but I just had that creative itch and I just had to scratch it.

“So I am working freelance just as my day job and making hats every other waking hour.”

Hughes has been working round the clock to complete another piece after gaining accelerated entry into the prestigious Oaks Day hat contest on Thursday.

“I entered a competition this year which was run by the Millinery Association of Australia and I was lucky enough to win it,” she said.

“It was a student entry, and one of the prizes was an immediate entry into the preliminary final of the millinery section at Oaks Day.

“Crazy – it’s a very, very fast track.”