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The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) lost 20 per cent of its remaining membership in 2020, leaving it with just 431 members.
The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) lost 20 per cent of its remaining membership in 2020, leaving it with just 431 members.

Jewellery association membership at a record low

The Jewellers Association Australia (JAA) has released its 2020 financial results which show that membership continues to fall, reaching a new low over the past decade.

More than 17 per cent of members quit the association in 2020 seeing its membership decline to 431 retailers and suppliers, down from 521 in 2019. As a result, membership income also declined, down 12 per cent ($204,377 in 2019 to $179,543 in 2020).

Jo Tory, JAA president
Jo Tory, JAA president
“We have understood that this year has been particularly challenging for the jewellery industry and for many of our members, meaning that member numbers have declined"
Jo Tory, Jewellers Association of Australia

The JAA is required to provide its annual financial statements to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), the national regulator of charities. The chartered accounting firm, Saward Dawson, signed off on the ‘review report’ on 18 November 2020.

More reading: What is the future of the Jewellers Association?

However, there was some good news for the JAA – a $70,369 profit was recorded at 30 June 2020, a turnaround from a $48,000 loss the previous year.

The promising result was achieved by slashing costs such as office administration, occupancy, advertising and staffing expenses by a total $62,000.

The financial statements also record an increase of $10,663 in total revenue, derived from $19,204 in ‘other income’ – which was zero in 2019.

Yet, the JAA’s $19,204 ‘other income’ is insignificant today compared with five years ago, when the association was supported by external suppliers and sponsors to the tune of $550,000–$600,000 each year.

Put another way, the JAA at that time received twice as much ‘sponsor’ income than revenue from memberships.

Jo Tory, president JAA, told Jeweller: “We have spent a significant amount of time reassessing what the industry needs and are moving towards delivering that to our members. Our approach to partner with relevant and dynamic companies has helped us to assist our members in various areas to move forward.”

While membership has been in decline for many years, the recent decrease was pre-COVID and Tory is aware of the challenge facing the JAA this year, as 2021 renewals fall due.

“We have understood that this year has been particularly challenging for the jewellery industry and for many of our members, meaning that member numbers have declined,” Tory said.

“We have taken steps over the past few months to bring to our members additional resources, additional support networks and our team and the board have spent time listening to the industry to understand their new challenges in this time.

"We intend to continue to increase communication and therefore our ability to support our members on the ground.”

The last “news” appearing on the JAA website was posted 20 months ago (July 2019) despite the ramifications on the jewellery industry caused by the global pandemic throughout 2020.
 

As at 27 January, 2021, the JAA website shows the most recent news update was posted 22 July 2019.
As at 27 January, 2021, the JAA website shows the most recent news update was posted 22 July 2019.

 

Background reading: JAA’s fall from grace; TIMELINE: Tracking a Decade of Division

 

More reading:
Jewellers Association loses $48,000
Can a new broom sweep clean at the JAA?
More problems with JAA financial reports
What is the future of the Jewellers Association?
JAA fails own Vision and Mission Statement

 

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