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.


Annmarie Vandeleur Western Australia State Education Administrator

Since December 2023, Annmarie has served as the State Education Administrator for GAAWA. She holds a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Science from Curtin University. With extensive experience in both government and corporate environments, she has specialised in organisational development and management roles.

Although Annmarie does not have a background in gemmology, she is a passionate consumer of gemstones. She remarked, “I find myself increasingly drawn to beauty in both the natural world and in art and design. The treatment of gemstones and creating settings that best preserve and present them is a delightful fit! I have thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to the world of gemmology.”

Outside of her professional life, Annmarie balances being a mother and managing her home with practicing yoga, walking her dog, and spending time with loved ones.


Eleanor Sanders WA State Secretary and Federal Constitution Officer

All enquiries directed from Eleanor to key personal. Australian Gemmologist (AG) Editorial 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, GEM1 Practical Demonstrator, WA Council Member

Studied in Amsterdam at Navy Collage served 10 years in Royal Dutch Navy as an electrician.

Graduated in 1995 as a Gemmologist. GEM1 practical teacher from 1996 and presenter of ‘Intro to Gemmology’. Other roles at GAAWA over the past 26 years: Council memberfed council membercurator of instrumentsmember of the Strata building, committee security and buildingvice chairmanPresident of WA division.

Short courses completed: Diamond GradingJade courseOpal  courseSynthetic course, Diploma in Diamond Technology.  

My passion is to know how gems come to be re colours, shapesetc and able to pass that on to others.

Fun facts: Passionate fisherman, love to travel and enjoy spending time with my wife, family and friends. 


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 GEM1 practical demonstrator & GEM1 lecturer


Sarah Edwards WA Practical Diamond Grading Presenter

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.


Rachel Scadden GEM1 Practical Demonstrator Assistant

I am a new gemmologist having completed my diploma in 2019 and have commenced assisting with Gem 1 practical lessons in 2021, working alongside experienced GAAWA teachers and staff.

I have completed Dip in DT Theory and am awaiting the opportunity to complete the practical of this course, hopefully in 2022.

In my other life I am a Clinical Nurse and am currently working in Community Health.
Studying gemmology and now working with GAA has given me a new interest of which I am very passionate. I feel well supported by GAAWA staff as a new gemmologist and I look forward to continuing the journey!


Bridgett Walker Lecturer and Assistant Prac Demonstrator

My name is Bridget Walker and I Graduated from GAAWA in 2018. I am a lecturer for theory and first year practical as well as co lecturing the Introduction to Diamonds and Ornamentals & Crystals Short courses.

I believe that the greatest pleasure in having knowledge is sharing it with others and I feel privileged to teach the next generation of gemologists. I come from a family of industry experience, plus I work in the industry at a jewellery store and am working towards becoming a Valuer.

Other than gemmology, I’m interested in the arts, crafts and needlework, plants, cats, and video games.


Karen Shead GEM2 Practical Demonstrator

I completed a Batchelor of Arts (BA) with a graduate diploma in education.

Graduated from Gemmology in 2013 and completed the Practical diamond grading course in the same year.

For most of my professional working life I have been involved in the retail antique jewellery trade, buying and selling jewellery. Antique jewellery is a huge passion of mine – the story it tells and the gemstones used.

Originally from South Africa, I moved with my family to Perth 1993 where I continued my dealings with antiques.

I am involved with the GAA as one of the Gem 2 practical teachers. I am also involved in the one day Intro to Antique course offered to the public.

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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Advanced Practical Diamond Grading

Take your diamond grading to the next level and learn how to grade fancy shapes and colours and screen for synthetics.

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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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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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