Wooing A New Generation of Australian Opal Ambassadors July 2009
Members of the opal industry donated over 50 opal prizes to the $100,000 Opal Fashion Bash 2009, held inTownsville.
Since the sponsorship began in 2008, through the National Opal Miners Association (NOMA), the Fashion Bash (a program to develop young modelling talent) has been inspiring facsination & passion for Opals.
Case in point: On April 22nd Rachael Finch, a protege of the Fashion Bash, was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2009 in Sydney. The Opal industry's gift prize to Miss Finch was a magnificent Boulder Opal & diamond set pendant valued at $2500 and donated by bolda.
Appearing on Channel 9's TODAY SHOW Friday 12th June, the down-to-earth 20 year old described herself as having a grungy edge. Her hectic schedule has the gracious brunette taking final instructions in etiquette in between a host of appearences across Australia. Rachael is off to the Miss Universe contest in the Bahamas on August 1, where she will compete against beauties from 80 countries. The finals will be televised live from Nassau on August 24.
The Fresh New Face of Australian Opal!
Image by Kate Glover
Hip and Sexy - Opal has the passion and the variations of colours to always be in fashion.
"Nearly everyone’s grandmother has an Australian opal and we felt it was time to reintroduce opal to Australia through our youth." said Janice Evert, President of the Australian Opal Exhibition.
“I am particularly impressed by the young men who are now becoming more interested in jewellery, perhaps over generations they have been influenced by their European counterparts."
|Miss Universe Australia's diamond set sterling silver and gold pendant with a picturesque boulder Opal was inspired by outback night sky imaginings. Designed by 22 year old jeweller Russell Whitcher for bolda's Cosmos range. "I love it out in the Opal country - most of all i love - beauty, women and working with Boulder Opal!" said Mr Whitcher who was elated upon discovering Miss Finch now wears his creation.|
For those with expensive taste how about a Million dollar Opal Hat (pictured left).
Whilst developing her international modelling career Miss Kendall Schuler (pictured below and top left) has graciously promoted Australia's National Gemstone to the world at various venues including the inaugural ICA Gemshow Dubai in October 2008, here she is wearing a set from The National Opal Collection.
Exuberant Young Prize Winners & Their Colourful Reflections:
Sherie Wilcox, 15, Townsville."I won an Opal in 2008 for the 2009 Face of the Fashion Bash for the Voters Choice Awards, and since then I wear it every, people say how beautiful it is whenever I wear it to school. So yes I think opals have brought me good luck and in the same year I entered an opal inspired gown that I helped to design into the Winton Queen of Gems Design Awards and I won, I think my opal pendant has brought me a lot of good fortune."
|Presley Wilcox, 10, Townsville
"I think opals are my good luck charms as I entered the Fashion Bash in 2008 and came 3rd in one of the sections. This year I went on to win the 2009 Tween Model of the Year & some more opal pendants. I hope they will bring me more good luck when I enter Tamblyn Young Model Discovery final in October in Brisbane. I wear them out a lot & sometimes even to school."
Carla Nott, 16, Kauri NSW."I was thrilled when I won 2 beautiful opal pendants at 2008 Opal Fashion Bash after being judged Best Runway Model. This success prompted my family to move from KununurraWA down to Kauri NSW so I could follow a future career in Modelling. I do think my opals have somewhat been my inspiration to help me along my journey. I treasure them every day & love wearing them out when I dress up. They make me feel unique when other students often ask what they are, especially when the sun shines on them. I love my blue boulder opal gemstone."
Hollie Tickner, 19, Brisbane“Having competed in the past two Opal Fashion Bashes I have seen all the smiles & enjoyment that these opal pendants bring to the faces of young student prize winners. I am sure like me when they all go back home they proudly show them off to all their friends. Since I have been wearing my opal pendant I have moved to Brisbane where I am now getting regular work as a model in between my employment. Opals certainly are proving to be my shining star”.
Catriona Gray, 15, Cairns
“I never knew much about opal jewellery until I entered the Young Model Challenge this year. I won 2 best dressed categories & the Model of the Year receiving 3 stunning opal pendants plus a beautiful set of earrings. I treasure them very much and wear them out a lot. I think opals are going to be part of my destiny in life & hopefully guide me to more success in future years. I often roll them in my hands to watch their colours change under a bright light. ”