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12 July 2001

It's our baby- hands off

The Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association is on track to present the spectacular Opal Exhibition Cocktail Party and Awards over four days, July 26to 29.

The overwhelming success of the inaugural, event has inspired organisers to even greater heights.

As the momentum builds, Lightning Ridge looks forward to welcoming the six members of Australia's National Women's basketball team, and their coach, who will model the prize winning jewellery entries.

The success of the inaugural awards may be attributed to a massive community effort inspired by the passion of Sue and Alf and White who had increased profitability for miners and boosts to the local economy as part of their overall concept.

Any suggestion that the awards will be moved to Sydney in the future are being strongly refuted by the Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association President, Sue White. Though this rumour has been running rife it! The community and Sue has been deluged by callers she is determined that the Charter of the Association will be upheld.

"Local sponsors have threatened to withdraw support this year and a co-owner of the Rainbow Collection would also withdraw permission if the awards are not retained locally," she said. Any attempts to wrest control of the awards from its birthplace Lightning Ridge, the Black Opal Capital of the World will meet vigorous opposition.

It was important for Sue and her tireless committee to publicly allay any fears the community may have so that the real business of conducting an even more successful second Jewellery Design Awards may be accomplished.

In a display of solidarity committee members stood firm with major sponsor Lightning Ridge District Bowling Club.

Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association Charter,December 6 2000

1* To promote opal at a national and international level

2* To promote methods of opal cutting that conserve opal and add value to the opal industry; specifically, to encourage methods of opal cutting that employ flexible-shaft tools to follow the natural contours of opal, removing only matrix and impurities such as sand and thereby producing unique gems with undulating surfaces and freeform shapes.

3* To encourage design jewellers to use undulating freeform opal in individual pieces of jewellery.

4* To increase market demand. for undulating freeform opal, thereby complementing the market for conventionally-shaped opal and expanding the opal industry.

5* To organise and con-duct an annual opal jewellery design competition to be held in Lightning Ridge emphasising jewellery that features undulating freeform opal.

6* In association with this opal jewellery design competition, to hold an exhibition of high-quality undulating freeform opal.

7* To unite the world, opal industry in Lightning Ridge, by inviting persons and opal from any opal field worldwide to participate in the opal jewellery design competition and exhibition.

8* To keep the Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association (OJDAA) an independent body based in Lightning Ridge, its place of origin.

9* Not to allow the OJDAA to amalgamate or become a subsidiary of any other organisation.

10* Members of the OJDAA must have resided in Lightning Ridge for at least six months, and must reside in Lightning Ridge for at least six months of each calendar year.

11 Members of the Executive Committee of the OJDAA must be permanent residents of Lightning Ridge, and must reside in Lightning Ridge for at least nine months in each calendar year.

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