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The JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards will be held in conjunction with the Showcase Jewellers members dinner
The JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards will be held in conjunction with the Showcase Jewellers members dinner

JAA awards to be presented at buying group dinner

The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) has confirmed that the winners of its Australasian Jewellery Awards program will be announced at an event held in conjunction with the Showcase Jewellers members dinner.

An industry statement, signed by the JAA board of directors, noted that the 2017 awards presentation evening would take place at the buying group’s dinner and masquerade ball on Friday 25 August to “maximise industry attendance”.

The collaboration with Showcase marks a departure from the traditional format of the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards program, which was established in 1968. Until now, winners were announced during an independent presentation event; however, this year the presentation ceremony will take place at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney as part of the annual Showcase members dinner.

“The JAA wishes to reassure the industry that this industry-run awards program will continue to deliver quality entrants, vast exposure for our finalists and winners,” the JAA industry statement read.

It added that the JAA awards presentation event would “showcase finished unique jewellery pieces and attendees will be able to view the actual jewellery design and manufacturing skills of all entrants as well as enjoying an evening of celebration”.

The news comes after Jeweller contacted the JAA on 26 June for confirmation about the date and location of the awards night. No details had been provided at the time of publication aside from the fact that the presentation evening was scheduled to take place sometime between 26 and 28 August.

The latest announcement arguably raises more questions given that the Showcase dinner has always been a members-only event.

It is unclear whether finalists who are not Showcase members – and could in fact be members of Nationwide Jewellers or Leading Edge Group Jewellers – are able to attend the awards presentation.

In addition, there has been no confirmation if there is a cost for finalists to attend the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards ceremony at the annual Showcase dinner.

Jeweller sought clarification on these and other issues; however, the JAA did not respond.

Should Leading Edge or Nationwide members be selected as a JAA award finalist, there is no clash of event dates because the Leading Edge Diamond Awards night is scheduled for Wednesday 23 August at Dolton House Hyde Park. The Nationwide International Members Dinner will take place on Sunday 27 August at the Cockle Bay Room in the new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour.

Jeweller has confirmed that the cost for attendance to each of the three buying group dinners is between $130 and $135 per member. 

Long-running event

This year is the 24th edition of the biennial JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards program – it was originally scheduled to take place in 2016 but was postponed due to lack of sponsorship support.

The event aims to recognise and celebrate emerging and experienced jewellery designers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The winner of the overall Jeweller of the Year Award will receive a trip to Hong Kong to compete in the 2018 International Jewellery Design Excellence Award program.

It is also understood that category winners would be published in the print and digital platforms of media sponsor Mywedding. Entries for this year’s awards program close 18 July.

Spoiled for choice

As previously reported by Jeweller, jewellery designers have been spoiled for choice this year because the inaugural Jewellery Design Awards (JDA) is also taking place.

The new design competition, which recently received a “record” number of entries, was announced last year by Expertise Events as part of its celebration of the International Jewellery Fair (IJF) returning to Darling Harbour. It has an $80,000 prize pool and was developed to support and promote Australian and New Zealand jewellers working in all areas of the trade.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony and cocktail function held at the new International Convention Centre in Sydney on Saturday 26 August 2017. There were 105 individual entries into the inaugural competition and all jewellers, regardless of whether they are a category finalist or not, receive free entry to the awards presentation. The cost for other guests is $65.

Finalist pieces will also be displayed at the IJF, which takes place from 26 August to 28 August 2017.

More reading
New jewellery comp reaches record entry levels
JAA design awards confirmed for 2017
JAA cancels jewellery design awards

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