About Opal
2009 Awards Night

Master of Ceremonies - Sandy Thorne

MC on the night is the entertaining and colourful Sandy Thorne, Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour. Her ten books having sold over 400,000 copies nationally.  Many of Sandy’s hilarious stories are about the characters in Lightning Ridge, back in the ‘70’s when it was a wild west town, full of wild men – back when the local sergeant only ever locked someone up when the police station lawn needed mowing. Sandy lived with her husband on a station nearby, but like most locals, had a go at part-time opal mining. A year with pick and shovel underground resulted in one stone, valued at thirty dollars, which she lost dancing at the Digger’s Rest during the mighty celebration – a huge success story in her colourful life. Before marrying and moving to the Ridge, she had been a jillaroo, horse breaker and bull catcher on Cape York a deckhand in the  Gulf of Carpentaria, and finally, a trainee opera singer at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music.  
Since launching her first book “I’ve Met Some Bloody Wags!” in 1980, by biting the top off a stubbie on the Midday Show, Sandy has performed her bush yarns and humorous poems on stage at corporate and public events, and on television and radio shows all over Australia, N.Z, and the U.S.

David Letterman, Larry King and Michael Parkinson are just three celebrities whose audiences have enjoyed her presentations of  genuine and original outback Australian culture.

After a thirty year absence from the Ridge, Sandy returned in early 2002, and has taken on an honorary and voluntary role promoting the World’s Black Opal Capital during her travels, both to her audiences and in her media interviews.  She believes passionately in the quality of our superb product, in the stunning and amazing variety of beautiful jewellery to be purchased here, and in the tremendous value the Ridge offers as a tourist destination.  She believes the two industries complement each other beautifully and sees a great future for the Ridge on the Australian tourist map.