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JAA response to Jeweller Magazine article 

1 March 2017

Coleby Nicholson’s outburst in Jeweller magazine’s online article this week was an extraordinary mixture of misunderstandings, false assumptions, conspiracy theories and innuendo.

Please be assured that the JAA is in good shape. Membership levels in recent years have held relatively well in a difficult trading environment and with an exceptional number of new members joining in the period during which the decision to launch an industry run Tradeshow occurred. Since Amanda Hunter’s appointment there has been a significant financial turnaround from the Association making a substantial unsustainable loss, to achieving close to break-even. 

There are now Board initiatives in place that could provide for a surplus situation with the goal of providing more back to the jewellery industry. This is essential given that many crucial activities that trade Associations deliver are non-revenue generating and often deemed not to be newsworthy. Very few Associations can survive on membership revenue alone.

Part of the required planning to allow for a prosperous future has been for the Board to review and change agreements, partnerships and relationships to make sure the JAA membership gets the value and outcomes it deserves. The Board is comprised of elected industry representatives who conduct themselves professionally. The Board stands by Amanda Hunter. 

It is the JAA Board’s opinion that the Nicholson article revealed lapses in fairness, balance and accuracy. Mr Nicholson also failed to disclose relevant commercial links with some organisations mentioned favourably in his article. 

The JAA has taken some tough decisions and stands by those decisions given the information that was to hand, much of which was and is the subject of confidentiality obligations. Having said that, the JAA has nothing to hide in any dealings or decisions. While the JAA has no legal proceedings brought against it, it is currently pursuing the licence fee due from IJF2016 that Expertise Events has not yet paid. The Board is also watching with interest the proceedings brought against Expertise Events in the Federal Court of Australia by The Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA).   

It is curious that Mr Nicholson chose to announce the end of the publishing agreement in advance of the JAA’s planned announcement of its own future media strategy. The Nicholson article reinforces that there is room in the market for a professional and supportive trade media outlet. The end of this contract will liberate the JAA to have more productive media partnerships with alternative publishers.  

At this point the JAA is forward focused.The  JAA is in a period of stability and growth, and of course desires industry unity and cohesion allowing us to work together in a supportive environment for the future.

It would be tedious for readers if we addressed all of the arguments and inaccuracies in the Nicholson article. However,  members can contact the Board or Executive Director on 02 9262 2862 or info@jaa.com.au to discuss any specific matters that concern them.


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