USC’s pearl science creates special gift for royals

Published: Comments:
Environment Science & Research University & TAFE

Social:   

USC science is behind a very special pearl gift created for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, that will presented to them in Tonga tomorrow.

Two pieces crafted from mabé pearls grown by University of the Sunshine Coast researchers will be presented to the travelling royals by the Prime Minister of Tonga, in recognition of important pearl research that is boosting livelihoods in the island country.

Senior project scientist Max Wingfield from USC’s Tropical Aquaculture Research group said the jewellery had been crafted from “triple A grade” pearls produced in Tonga as part of a study by PhD student Sophie Gordon to improve the quality of pearls.

“These are the very best pearls produced from that study and have been crafted to a standard worth of being won by royals,” Mr Wingfield said.

The research is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research as part of a broader project to help provide livelihood opportunities to people in Tonga, Fiji and Vietnam through the pearl industry.

So far, in Tonga, the project has helped launch 17 pearl farms which are large family or community operations. This number is expected to grow to 26 by the end of next year.

Mr Wingfield said the pearl industry was having a positive effect in the remote islands where employment opportunities were limited.

“There are a number of benefits to growing mabé pearls: it’s a fast-growing oyster, the seeding is much simpler than for a round pearl and so can be done by local people with minimal training, and the oysters themselves are filter feeders so they help to protect the pristine status of the reefs,” Mr Wingfield said.

“The whole process can be done in island locations such as Tonga at a fairly low cost and the industry is less competitive and therefore easier for a new country to establish a market presence.

“We work with farmers, but we also work with post-harvest workers, artisans and training to lift the whole value of the industry and maximise the benefits that flow to the community.”

The pearls were crafted into jewellery by Tongan artisans, brothers Leonati and Andrew Fakatava.

“Obviously the royals get inundated with gifts but these are beautiful pieces and it would be wonderful if they do enjoy them,” Mr Wingfield said.

The wristband was created for the Duke and the pendant for the duchess.

 
University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
USC in top table for employer satisfaction 11 January 2019 | The University of Sunshine Coast has placed equal fifth for “overall satisfaction” in a national employer satisfaction survey of 41 universities nationwide.  More information...
Free USC course helps build skills and aspirations 10 January 2019 | A free USC course will offer Sunshine Coast adults the chance to start 2019 by upgrading their academic skills, exploring pathways to higher education and mapping out new career plans. More information...
USC medallist shines light for kids’ future 09 January 2019 | USC graduate Sam Willcocks, aka Samantha Starshine, has a message to share in her first children’s book Annie Ant’s Awareness that she hopes will give children a brighter future and a better world. More information...
Research into how worker morale, engagement and feeling safe are linked 08 January 2019 | A USC Business academic is about to begin research with a local civil engineering firm to investigate links between worker morale, employee engagement and feeling safe at work. More information...
Perfect conditions for bluebottle influx 08 January 2019 | A “perfect storm” of conditions has caused a bumper bluebottle season at Queensland’s swimming beaches, a University of the Sunshine Coast graduate research ecologist says. More information...
Elite USC coach gives powerlift to intern training 17 December 2018 | The lead strength and conditioning coach for Sunshine Coast Lightning has embarked on a project to ensure the nation’s next generation of strength and conditioning coaches have the right training to be at the... More information...
USC has continued to forge ahead in 2018 21 December 2018 | The University of the Sunshine Coast has continued to forge ahead in 2018, celebrating a string of achievements and standing out as one of Australia’s fastest-growing universities. More information...
Free USC course helps build skills and aspirations 20 December 2018 | A free USC course will offer Sunshine Coast adults the chance to start the New Year by upgrading their academic skills, exploring pathways to higher education and mapping out new career plans. More information...
USC student keen to inspire others with Indo-Pacific experience 19 December 2018 | A Business Honours student who recently studied and worked in Indonesia thanks to an Australian Government grants scheme has been appointed USC’s ambassador for the New Colombo Plan. More information...
Swimming guru is UniSport Coach of the Year 12 December 2018 | USC Spartans para swimming head coach Nathan Doyle has tipped his hat to his late mentor Jan Cameron after being named the Unisport Australia Coach of the Year for 2018. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service