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“The AOC is a project with global punch, a true blue Australian venture.”

Dr Elizabeth T. Smith
$30,000 AOC Founder
$10,000 AOC Founder with Robert Smith
AOC Life Member
AOC Palaeontologist

Palaeontologist, author and artist Dr Elizabeth Smith is totally committed to the AOC project – Australia’s first, truly national opal museum. She has worked for decades to encourage preservation and study of Australia’s unique opalised fossils and their geological history, spreading the word among opal miners, school children, scientists, national and international visitors.

“The AOC is a big project because the story of opal in Australia is big. Opal carries mighty stories from deep time. It tells us about the evolution of plants and animals right across the southern hemisphere, about the inland sea and its margins 100 million years ago, and about the enormous intervals and processes between then and now.

“I’m fascinated by the landscape and culture of the Australian opal fields, both past and present. We’re creating one of the world’s great museums, a monument to the history of opal in Australia. By respecting and preserving the past, the AOC is a major investment in the future.

“Opal sustains thousands of people in remote regions of Australia. Their lifestyles and the culture and communities that opal has created in these tough outback landscapes, are unlike anything else on the planet. The AOC is devoted to the opal fields, which are Australia’s ‘living museums’.

“The AOC is a project with global punch, a true blue Australian venture. We have a world-class collection, world-class fossil treasures, world-class science, world-class opal, a world-class building and world-class location – Lightning Ridge.

“I love the audacity of the AOC project. I’m an AOC Founder because of the huge scale and scope of this project. Here is a pathway for champions and visionaries. This is a communal dive into big brave pool, and I’m diving in, boots and all.

“As with crowdfunding, the Founders program respects the need for caution, while it opens the way to victory. There’s safety in numbers, and you don’t have to pay up until we reach that $10 million target. That’s the trigger for triumph. That’s when you pitch your money into the ring, into the winners’ circle.

“There’s joy in this. Every Founder can be certain, when we hit that $10 million mark, that this astonishing AOC building will be built, by popular demand, the biggest community project in Australia.

“Everyone’s a winner. Never underestimate the power of a few good people – or a few thousand good people – to change the course of history.”

If you’d like to join Elizabeth as an AOC Founder, please click here for a Founders Brochure and Application Form. For more information contact Olivia Ward by calling 0400 225 751 or emailing founders@australianopalcentre.com. We look forward to hearing from you!