Joshua Sharp – Industry Forum 2024

Joshua Sharp, President of the JAA gives his insights into the successes and challenges of 2023 with hopes for the 2024 year.

Written by Jewellery World

Joshua Sharp
President, Jewellers Association of Australia

Reflecting on the JAA’s mission to advance the Australian jewellery industry through representation, unity, and consumer confidence, could you highlight some specific actions and achievements in 2023 that aligned with this mission?

Representation

1. Collaboration with other industry bodies to bring the opal guide document to CIBJO and other activities that we are unable to release yet

2. Collaboration with stakeholders for the benefit of members and industry – JewelCover, Podium, Australian Printed Ribbon, Australia Post

3. Attendance at Jewellery Industry Fairs

Unity

1. JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards untied the industry through the Awards program and Soiree event 

2. Offering graduate membership 

Consumer Confidence

1. JAA Australasian Jewellery showcased the quality of talent in the Australian jewellery industry 

2. Through complaints handling and enquiries we’ve maintained and demonstrated high ethical and professional standards 

The JAA’s Code of Conduct sets high standards for jewellery businesses. Can you share examples of how this Code has made a difference in ensuring ethical and professional conduct within the industry in 2023? 

There have been consumer complaints that we have had to deal with throughout the year. However, fortunately, we have not received any complaints of members breaching the Code this year, which is excellent.

What were the JAA’s key activities and programs in 2023 aimed at promoting collaboration and unity among different sectors of the jewellery industry?

JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards and Soiree, attendance at jewellery fairs, and collaboration with other industry bodies.

How has the JAA supported its members in adopting sustainable practices and what plans are in place to further promote sustainability in 2024?

This is a newer subject that we have only recently been looking at. We have looked into more sustainable small plastic job bags. The Board will also be meeting late this year and will discuss adding sustainable practices around metal sourcing into the JAA Code of Conduct. This is an ongoing topic that will hopefully have more developments in 2024. 

In the context of encouraging consumer confidence, can you elaborate on the JAA’s role in educating consumers and the industry in 2023 and what educational resources are on the horizon for 2024?

Through JAA’s handling of consumer enquiries and complaints processing we aim to educate consumers and members. Often, the enquiries and complaints have issues unique to their matter, so one-on-one advice is required. 

Highlighting excellence in the jewellery industry with the JAA Awards celebrating exceptional design, innovation, craftsmanship and marketability in the jewellery industry. We take great pride in showcasing these beautiful jewellery creations to consumers through our Awards e-publication, socials and Awards videos. Giving consumers confidence in the work produced by Australian jewellery manufacturers. 

In 2024, we will be continuing our education of consumers, specifically about purchasing, industry advancements such as laboratory-grown diamonds that have increased in popularity and caring for your jewellery. Our main channels of education will be through socials, as well as phone and email enquiries. 

Looking ahead to 2024, what are the JAA’s strategic priorities and initiatives for continuing to represent and advance the Australian jewellery industry, and how can its members actively participate in these efforts?

1. Researching and Implementing Member Benefits

Initiative: The JAA aims to research and implement new member benefits to enhance the value of membership.

Member Participation: Members can actively participate by providing feedback on existing benefits, suggesting new ones, and taking advantage of the benefits offered.

2. Supporting Members with Challenges

Initiative: The JAA plans to provide support to members facing challenges, whether specific to their business or industry-wide issues.

Member Participation: Members can actively engage with the Association by communicating their challenges, participating in forums or discussions, and providing input on potential solutions.

3. Introducing Industry Initiatives

Initiative: The JAA aims to introduce industry initiatives through collaboration with other industry bodies.

Member Participation: Members can actively participate by expressing interest in and supporting these initiatives, attending related events, and providing insights to contribute to the success of industry-wide efforts.

4. Consumer Education and Awareness

Initiative: The JAA plans to focus on consumer education and awareness to enhance trust and confidence in the jewellery industry.

Member Participation: Members can actively contribute by aligning their business practices with ethical standards, participating in educational programs, and promoting responsible practices to consumers.

5. Revitalising State Branches

Initiative: The JAA aims to review and potentially revitalise its State Branches to increase engagement among members and industry participants.

Member Participation: Members can actively engage with their respective State Branches by participating in branch events, providing input on revitalisation efforts such as volunteering, and contributing to local initiatives.

6. Engaging with the Industry at Jewellery Industry Fairs

Initiative: The JAA plans to engage with the industry at Jewellery Industry Fairs, encouraging participation from members and industry professionals.

Member Participation: Members can actively participate by exhibiting at or attending these fairs, networking with industry peers, and staying informed about the latest trends and developments.

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