Our people

Meet the team behind Ethical Jewellery Australia

Melinda Bailey FGAA | Founder, Creative Director

Melinda, a jewellery designer and registered Gemmologist, is the driving force behind Ethical Jewellery Australia (EJA) and creator of ‘The Promised Ring’.

The whole idea of starting an ethical jewellery business began when Melinda first learned of Oxfam’s ‘No Dirty Gold’ campaign back in 2006.

Once she became aware of the environmental issues, she signed the pledge immediately. 

Melinda’s resolve to provide an environmentally and socially responsible alternative became even stronger when, through her Gemmology and further studies, she discovered that the cost of mining and processing gemstones can be very high on both workers and the environment.

At the time, a co-owner of a retail bespoke jewellery business, she sold her interest in the shop and (with the support of her partner, Benn Harvey-Walker) launched Ethical Jewellery Australia.

Melinda is a Fellow of the GAA (Gemmological Association of Australia).

Benn Harvey-Walker | Co-Founder, Director of Business Development

With 17 years experience in small business sales and marketing and 10 years operating his own business, Benn, the co-founder of Ethical Jewellery Australia, brings a wealth of knowledge to the business.

In its early years, whilst operating his own construction business, Benn helped EJA become what it is by playing a big part in developing the original website and Design Guide. The first edition was published in 2014.

In 2018 Benn joined EJA full time, playing a major role in updating the website, producing a second edition of the Engagement Ring Design Guide, creating a guide for wedding and commitment ring buyers and setting up a CRM for the business.

Day to day Benn now handles the jewellery photography duties and does the technical drawings of the rings we make. He also manages the sales side of the business and looks after most things business development related.

Gabriel Nugent | Technical and general support

As an assistant, Gabriel’s role in the company is diverse – from tech support, website maintenance, ring deliveries, to dabbling in book-keeping and CRM maintenance.

When he’s not hard at work, he spends his time juggling his university studies in IT and Creative Industries.

Gabriel has had an interest in all that beeps and boops and has applied the knowledge he’s learnt over the years to his new role at EJA.

If you’ve received a quote or an invoice from Melinda in the past year and a half, they’ve come from a computer that Gabriel constructed himself.

Ferdinand Woolley | Manufacturing Jeweller, Setter

Image of one of our jewellers, Ferdinand, at his work bench

We are very fortunate to have Ferdinand Woolley – a very talented, creative and meticulous jeweller (and a fabulous human being) manufacturing our beautiful rings.

With over 25 years’ industry experience, Ferdinand is also a highly skilled gem and diamond setter and is experienced in working with platinum and palladium.

We could not do what we do without him and he is treasured by us and all who wear his rings. 

Ferdinand is a key ingredient in our success. It is because of his unique ability and amazing care that it has taken us so long to expand our jeweller network. He has shown us that it is worth taking time to find the right people.

Christian Gortz | Manufacturing Jeweller, Setter

Our jeweller Chris in his Mullumbimby workshop

With over 40 years of jewellery making experience, Chris hand makes jewellery for us from his beautiful, peaceful studio nestled in 100 acres of the Byron Bay Hinterland in NSW.

A jeweller and setter, Chris is a calm and patient man and is meticulous in his attention to detail. Producing work of the highest quality, every piece is painstakingly finished to perfection.

We are very fortunate to be able to share his skills with you and look forward to our continuing collaboration.

Chris also creates CAD renders we often use as a visual aid in our design process.