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Correction: Jewellery Industry Network directors have resigned

Following Jeweller’s report on Wednesday regarding Laura Moore’s recent attempt to correct misleading information and claims about the Jewellery Industry Fair (JIF), new details have emerged about two of the company’s directors.

As reported, in her position as managing director of the Jewellery Industry Network (JIN), Moore distributed an email clarifying misleading statements originating from a promotional brochure that was produced and distributed by JIN in May 2022.

Jeweller has since discovered that two of the four JIN directors - Brett Low and Ewen Ryley - have resigned from the company.

Low is a director of Deer Honey Jewellery in Queensland while Ryley is the creative director of Ryley Jewellery Creations also in Queensland.

Both had been directors of JIN since the company was formed in September 2020. They are also directors of Young Jewellers Group, a private company that runs the Facebook page now known as Jewellers Co.

When Jeweller contacted Ryley concerning the article, he seemed to be aware of the report and confirmed that had resigned as a director of the company.

When Low was contacted to confirm his resignation from the company, he was most surprised and asserted that he was unaware of, and had not read, the story about Federal Court legal proceedings and Moore’s email.

He confirmed that he had resigned as director of JIN, and stated that he “didn’t want to be dragged into anyone else’s mess.”

Low asked for the article to be emailed to him and agreed that if there were any further questions they should be included in the email.

Questions left unanswered

The following day Low wanted to clarify his earlier comments about the ‘mess’, saying he was not referring to JIN or JIF.

Brett Lowe, Jewellers Co.
Brett Lowe, Jewellers Co.
“I don’t work for JIN in any way. Nor did I have anything to do with the court case or the advertising you’re referring to.”
Brett Low, Jewellers Co.

In a subsequent email, Low said that he left on great terms and that, “I fully support JIN and JIF in their Endeavor’s [sic] even though I chose to move away from that business and focus on my jewellery business”.

Ryley said he left for “personal reasons”.

Interestingly, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) records show that Low and Ryley resigned on exactly the same day - 1 May 2023, more than three months ago.

They were both asked if they could explain why they still appear on the JIN website as directors as of 11 August - approximately 14 weeks later. At the time of publication, Ryley did not offer comment; however, Low offered an explanation.

“Removing myself from the website wasn’t a priory [sic] for me. I hadn’t looked into it at all. It has now been done,” Low said.

It is worth noting that Low and Ryley were JIN directors at the time the ‘offending’ marketing brochure was produced and distributed in May 2022.

Ewen Ryley, Jewellers Co.
Ewen Ryley, Jewellers Co.
The only thing I want to say is that everything is all good. We still have a great relationship with them [Jewellery Industry Network].”
Ewen Ryley, Jewellers Co.

With that said, Jeweller sought clarification as to whether they both approved the brochure which resulted in legal proceedings in the Federal Court.

“I don’t work for JIN in any way. Nor did I have anything to do with the court case or the advertising you’re referring to,” Low said.

Ryley did not comment.

The Commonwealth Courts website indicates that leading up to their May resignations, JIN was preparing affidavit(s) for filing in the Federal Court.

It is unknown whether Low and Ryley were required to contribute to the funding of the Federal Court proceedings, given that they were directors at the time of the 'offending' brochure up until 1 May.

Commenting as a director of the Young Jewellers Group, Ryley said, “The only thing I want to say is that everything is all good. We still have a great relationship with them [Jewellery Industry Network].”

He was subsequently asked via email whether he had informed members of the Facebook group about his resignation as a JIN director and provided the reason for it.

At the time of publication, neither Low nor Ryley had answered this question.

Who we are: Claims by JIN about being ethical and having a "desire to knit together the delicate fabric of the industry."
Who we are: Claims by JIN about being ethical and having a "desire to knit together the delicate fabric of the industry."

 

Facts remain uncertain

A number of other details around the Federal Court case remain unclear. Moore has not responded to questions about these proceedings.

Of particular interest is whether the email was sent as part of a binding, ‘out-of-court’ settlement and whether JIN was required to pay either full or partial costs to the Applicant - and if yes, what the amount was.

Jeweller has now obtained a copy of the brochure which prompted Moore’s corrections email in July following the legal proceedings.

The brochure - along with the website - now raises additional questions concerning potentially misleading and deceptive claims by JIN which were not addressed in Moore’s email.

This includes, but is not limited to claims and details about The Jewellers Podcast, a business run by Moore and Low.

In addition, Jeweller has now gained access to Federal Court documents concerning the misleading or deceptive conduct case between Expertise Events and the Jewellery Industry Network which resulted in the out-of-court settlement.

Legal documents prepared on behalf of JIN were filed by Baron and Co, and signed by Gil Baron, brother of Rami Baron.

Rami Baron has been involved in his own jewellery industry controversies, including the misuse of the intellectual property belonging to respected international jewellery organisations and a lack of transparency over the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia.
 
More reading
Jewellery Industry Network: Moore moves to correct misleading trade fair statements
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it
JAA's fall from grace: 2020 State of the Jewellery Industry Report
Second resignation from JAA board
JAA’s perfect storm: Nationwide quits association
 











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