Kym Hughes – Industry Forum 2024

Kym Hughes, President of the NCJV gives her insights into the successes and challenges of 2023 with hopes for the 2024 year.

Written by Jewellery World

Kym Hughes
President, NCJV

Can you highlight your organisation’s involvement in trade fairs, conferences, or workshops in 2023 and what knowledge-sharing and educational events you have planned for 2024?

The NCJV ran a very successful conference in Brisbane during July this year with Branko Deljanin called the Gemmological Research Industries and NCJV Conference. The Conference brought out to Australia four international speakers and local speakers covering topics of diamonds, sapphire, ruby, emerald, jadeite jade and opal with three days of hands-on workshops and a lecture day, the Conference was finished off with a post-conference tour with small group who attended the opal festival at Winton. It was great to bring like-minded people from across the country back together again to participate in excellent learning and social activities.

Conferences of this nature are very time-consuming to organise, and most people do not realise that speakers’ calendars are usually booked 12 months in advance, so it is not planned to do another Conference like this next year, and most states will be offering their members locally run education opportunities in 2024. 

It is a requirement for NCJV members to maintain their continuing professional development (CPD), so the NCJV looks at all opportunities to help members achieve their required CPD.

This year, we attended the Jeweller Industry Fair in Melbourne and Sydney with a focus on reconnecting with the jewellery trade and members. As an association, it is difficult to know exactly how great the impact is, but we are always flying the flag for our members and promoting them to the wider industry.

This year, the NCJV through our RTO Valued Education Pty Ltd (NCJV-EDU) have been teaching a group of students Australia-wide the 10789NAT Diploma of Applied Gemmology (valuation). The course runs in most states, and we teach using an online and face-to-face blended method. We look forward to welcoming these students into our membership upon completion of their studies. The diploma usually takes about 18 months to complete, therefore these students will be joining in 2024.

Enrollments are currently open for the 2024 intake. Should anyone be interested, please email

How would you describe the culture at your organisation in 2023, and what steps are you taking to nurture and enhance that culture in 2024?

We are inclusive and welcome all members to participate within their own state division. It sometimes is difficult to find the time to devote as a volunteer, but we welcome whatever help people can give. We have a very good committee at a national level. The six states have individual state committees that look after their members locally. We encourage members to take the plunge and join their state committees as many hands make light work. 

How did your organisation demonstrate resilience during 2023, and how will you continue to navigate uncertainties in the jewellery industry in 2024?

I think that during 2023, it was a year of reconnecting with members and the wider industry as a whole, and I think that generally during 2023, we managed to do this with some success. 2024 could be a tough year due to the jewellery industry being in the luxury end of the market, and with people having to tighten their belts financially, this could affect us all. However, I am forever an optimist and hope the growth we have seen continues.

How do you think the industry has progressed or advanced in the past year?

As a whole, I generally think we have been able to ride the COVID shutdowns without too much failure and this continued into 2023. As for the next 12 months, I think we will have to wait and see.

How do you align your organisation with your vision and mission?

I think the NCJV tries its best to do this by helping members deliver the highest standard of valuations in Australia by offering the best education possible.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

For me personally, for it not to start like 2023 those who know me understand what I mean by that. I hope that we are all healthy, well, and kind to each other.

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