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Australian Opal Centre seeks patrons

Moves are afoot to construct a state-of-the-art Australian Opal Centre (AOC) building for education, training and certification.

A group of supporters called the AOC Founders has come forward to provide patronage to help fund the Lightning Ridge location by leveraging $20 million of NSW and Federal Government funding. 

By October, $960,000 had been committed by AOC Founders and supporters.

The proposed site has been designed by Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin, and is set to promote Australian opal and opalised fossil collections once completed.

AOC Founder and GAA patron Terry Coldham said: “The AOC is a bold initiative and I’m very impressed by its achievements. The concept of a national centre dedicated to opal is exciting - it’s an absolute game changer.”

“There are very few times in life when you can affect really big change, but this is one of them. The opportunity to join such a fine group of people and do something magnificent that will be seen by millions of people for lifetimes to come is really remarkable.”

Coldham stressed that becoming an AOC Founder is “a wonderful legacy”. The centre aims to provide infrastructure, facilities and programs for students and researchers with an objective to increase public awareness of opalised fossils “as uniquely Australian national treasures and resources”.

AOC president David Lane said the facility was expected to generate $49 million annually to the NSW economy while benefitting the opal community.

“The new AOC will be a world-class, distinctively Australian tourism asset that will create benefits throughout inland Australia and everywhere our National Gemstone is produced and sold,” Lane said.

“We’re proud to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the GAA and delighted to invite Australian jewellery and gemstone industry members to join GAA federal patron Terry Coldham and other visionaries as AOC Founders," he added.


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Tuesday, 23 April, 2019 01:53pm
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