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Halina Kaufman was presented with the award by John Lazarou, director of arts and fashion category sponsor The Coffee Club
Halina Kaufman was presented with the award by John Lazarou, director of arts and fashion category sponsor The Coffee Club

Young jeweller awarded for industry dedication

A young manufacturing jeweller has been recognised for her industry achievements as well as her commitment to educating others within the trade.

Hobart-based jeweller Halina Kaufman was recently named the 2016 Tasmanian Young Achiever Award winner for the arts and fashion category.

The national Young Achiever Awards program is held annually and aims to acknowledge, encourage and promote the achievements of people up to and including 29 years of age.

One of Kaufman
One of Kaufman's pieces – Titania's Garland

Kaufman, aged 28, was nominated for the award by employer Tony Harrison, the owner of jewellery business For the Love of Gold.

Harrison said that in addition to being highly dedicated to her work, Kaufman was “continually giving her time and expertise to help train and mentor young individuals in the community”.

“[She] has shown her commitment time and again to upholding the highest standard of professionalism both in the quality of her work and her commitment to education,” he said.

Kaufman has worked with WorldSkills to mentor and train the Tasmanian regional team since 2011, and has acted as a competition judge. She also helped 2014 WorldSkills Australian gold medallist Jyothi Forman prepare for the international WorldSkills competition held in Brazil in August 2015, for which Forman received a silver medal.

Tasmanian fashion designer Sonia Heap, one of the judges for the awards’ arts and fashion category, commented, “Halina was universally acknowledged by all the judges not only as a brilliant artist but also as a mentor to other jewellers.

Another Kaufman design – Galaxias
Another Kaufman design – Galaxias

“Her desire to assist others and her work in the community are something that the panel recognised as fundamental to the growth of the Tasmanian arts community into the future.”

Keeping traditions alive

Kaufman said she felt honoured to be recognised for her achievements. She also hoped winning the award would provide an outlet for her to help educate the community and young jewellers about the importance of retaining traditional jewellery manufacturing techniques at a time of technological advancement.

“All methods and skills are equally important but it would be devastating if traditional methods were no longer employed and taught,” she explained.

When asked what advice she had for other young jewellers, Kaufman said, “Always strive for perfection … Take advantage of any opportunities that may be available to progress within the industry and expand your skills and creativity [such as] design awards and WorldSkills competitions.”

Kaufman was awarded gold medals at two regional and one national WorldSkills competition and has been a finalist for the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards.

She has also received grants and overseas scholarships, and has trained with master engravers in Florence, Italy and Louisiana in the US, and with a diamond setter in the Netherlands.

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