Devlin Apartments have been named in recognition of one of Geelong’s most famous sons – Stuart Devlin, the Geelong Boy with the ‘Midas Touch’.
As the designer of Australia’s decimal coinage back in the 1960‘s, Stuart Devlin is the most notable student to graduate from the Gordon Junior Technical School. Since then Devlin has built a reputation as the pre-eminent designer of precious objects and has been described as ‘arguably the greatest living silversmith’. Though Stuart Devlin has based his career in London, he is proudly Australian.
As part of a generation that included opera singer Joan Sutherland, dancer Robert Helpmann, actor Peter Finch and writer Patrick White, he played an important role in showing that Australians could lead on the world stage. Devlin says, “Apart from the obvious reason that London is the best place for a silversmith to become known… my acceptance here reassures people in Australia that Australians are capable of international success.”
Now in his early 80s, Devlin retains a strong presence in the UK. The torch for the recent London Olympics was designed as a tribute to ‘“Stuart Devlin” style British craftsmanship’. The celebrations that were part of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II included a London exhibition of his silverware. And he has produced a new series of mint coins featuring the capital cities of the UK. But more precious than Devlin’s glittering works is the opening of the Goldsmiths’ Centre this year. This confident new facility in central London for nurturing new talent is the realisation of a personal dream.
The Queen’s jewelers at Collingwood’s described him as “the greatest designer in gold and silver since the incomparable Paul de Lamerie in the 18th century”.
The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in the City of London christened him as the designer with the ‘Midas Touch’.