Australia’s sunniest capital city, Perth effortlessly blends urban cool with raw natural beauty. Its heart is bustling with new bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural spaces, and is also home to Kings Park – one of the world’s largest inner city parks. Swim with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo, surf along Australia’s longest coast, Wine Tasting in Margaret River, Whale Watching along our huge south coast. Discover Pearls in Broome or Fishing in Geraldton. Eating fresh crayfish at Rottnest Island. Cycle around the city or cruise up the river to the Swan Valley. So many reasons to come to Perth. You will Love It.


The Western Australia Division is enthusiastic about maintaining their long standing tradition in promoting the scientific study of gemstones to students and general public alike. The Association has its own premises consisting of a well-appointed lecture room and extremely well equipped laboratory and extensive library. Membership comprises a good cross section of gemmologists, geologists, jewellers, valuers and gem enthusiasts. The Association rooms are situated in Claremont conveniently close to Swanbourne Railway Station, with ample car parking for those wishing to drive.


Courses are provided by Gem-Ed Australia and individual State Divisions. Click here to view the course dates and fees for Western Australia.


  • Well-appointed lecture room
  • Well-equipped laboratory
  • Extensive library
  • Extensive gemstone range for students and members alike to use and learn from.
  • Convenient location.



Meg Tolcon Western Australia Education Support Officer

Graduated with Diploma in Gemmology 2013

State Education Admin for GAAWA since 2020.

Lecturer and Practical Lab assistant.

State Councillor, State & Federal Publicity, Alternate state BOSE rep

Completed Jewellery Apprenticeship in 2000 from Fremantle Art and Design TAFE and since then have spent my time working with all aspects of traditional handmade and CAD/cast jewellery, but somehow, I always end up working with antiques, which I adore (especially Art Deco).

Winner and Finalist in multiple Australasian jewellery design competitions.

Completed Practical Diamond Grading and Valuers course in 2013.

You will meet me in the lecture room, in the Gem 2 prac lab as an assistant or running our 1 day short course: Intro to Diamonds!

In my time off I love flamenco dancing, reformer Pilates and running with my dog.


Sarah Mendelawitz Western Australia State Education Administrator

Graduated with Diploma in Gemmology 2018 (Distinction)

State Education Admin for GAAWA since 2019.

Lecturer and Lab assistant since 2019.

Alternate Federal councillor since 2020.

Passions are geology and earth science, I love antiques and history too.

Graduated with B.Sc.Hons in physics at UWA and then another Diploma in applied science for geophysics at Curtin from 1992 – 1996.  I worked as a petroleum geophysicist based mainly in SE Asia.

Working for a valuer who is also a great teacher, telling me all about jewellery.

Hoping to do more courses in the near future in lapidary and valuations.

Personal life:  School mum, flute player and newly qualified diver.


Eleanor Sanders WA State Secretary and Federal Constitution Officer

All enquiries directed from Eleanor to key personal. Australian Gemmologist (AG) Editorial Committee.


Kate Foley WA Federal Councillor

Addresses all pertinent queries relating to students and members. Marketing committee.


Leonie Rennie WA Vice President and Federal Chairwoman

Chair of Federal Council Meetings. Assists with any queries for State. Australian Gemmologist (AG) Editorial Committee.


Peter Jansen WA President, Vice President, Education Officer and GemEd Rep

Reports to State council on all Education matters.


Helen Brown WA Education Liaison Officer

Attends to the day to day running of the Diploma course. Student and teacher conduit.


Ian Faris WA Treasurer

Oversees all state finances.


Helen Sitlington WA GemEd Rep to Federal Council

Oversees all large issue items concerning State and Federal Education.


Kathryn McNiven State Facebook admin

Description: Oversees WA Facebook page.


Sarah Edwards WA Lecturer

Sarah Edwards is a JAA national award-winning designer, registered valuer, manufacturing jeweller, gemmologist, diamond and pearl grader.

Sarah has twenty years’ experience in the industry with both national and international qualifications in diamonds and pearls.

Sarah is on the diamond committee for GAA and holds membership of many gemmological associations around the world. She is a long serving member of the National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV), the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA), a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia (FGAA) and a Fellow of The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA).

Sarah’s multi-level skill set and knowledge within the industry has opened doors to diverse employment streams – from bench work, retailing, wholesaling, managing a diamond laboratory, head grader/ gemmologist, designing, merchandising, gem testing, valuing, teaching and training for retail stores, to exporting Australian rough gems. Sarah is currently running her own wide-ranging business.

In addition to her previous experiences and qualifications, Sarah studies and travels around the world for conferences, gem fairs and to dig and fossick for rough gem treasures. She is committed to being at the forefront of the industry and understanding the mine to market route and associated ethical responsibility. Sarah is passionate about her work and sharing her knowledge.


Francine Payette State Councillor

Description: Assists with all council matters, especially Education.

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courses offered by Western Australia

Introduction to Coloured Gemstones

This one day course introduces a range of popular coloured gemstones to learn about.

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Introduction to Diamonds

One day course will cover diamonds; natural, synthetics, treated and imitation, the 4 Cs, grading and identification.

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Introduction to Ornamentals & Crystals

This one day course covers what is an ornamental and crystal gem materials and what is so special about them. How they are used now and in the past.

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Gemmology Update and Synthetics

Extended study for qualified gemmologists, touching on most aspects of synthetic and treated gemstones.

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Advanced Opals

Learn all about opal in this short two-day course that covers all aspects of the gemmology and science of opal including opal from Australia and overseas locations.

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Jewellery Sketching and Design

Learn basic techniques and tricks to enable jewellery concepts and ideas to be sketched quickly and effectively.

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Practical Diamond Grading

Learn weight estimation and visual estimation of the 4 C’s as well as other features of practical diamond grading.

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Pearl & Bead Threading

Learn the traditional ways of threading, including knotting and finishing, to complete your own strings using natural gem beads and cultured pearls.

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Introduction to Antique Jewellery

Over a single day session, learn the ins and outs of antique jewellery, from how to identify and describe through to materials used and more.

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Introduction to Gems and Gemmology

Overview of natural gemstones, colour, original localities, hardness.

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Diploma in Diamond Technology

An intensive course that focuses on all aspects of diamonds including practical and theoretical components.

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Diploma in Diamond Technology

An intensive course that focuses on all aspects of diamonds including practical and theoretical components.

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Diploma in Gemmology

A part-time two year (equivalent) diploma course comprising of scientific study in order to identify faceted and rough gem material (gemstones).

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Diploma in Gemmology

A part-time two year (equivalent) diploma course comprising of scientific study in order to identify faceted and rough gem material (gemstones).

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