Brilliant Ideas: inventing and adapting machines for opal mining at Lightning Ridge is an exhibition that was launched on 6 November 2013 at the Black Opal Heritage Shed in Lightning Ridge.The exhibition recognises the achievements of the local miners and fabricators who, beginning in the 1960s, invented or adapted machines to mechanise every stage of opal mining, from prospecting to processing. 

The exhibition was developed by ASHET and the Australian Opal Centre (AOC), with support from the Lightning Ridge Historical Society. ASHET obtained a grant  from the Commonwealth Government’s Your Community Heritage program to assist with some expenses of the project.

ASHET members Rob Renew, and Mari and Eric Metzke, made several visits to Lightning Ridge to inspect opal mining machinery, interview miners, gather photographs, drawings, and documents, and conduct a workshop on oral history methods.Lightning Ridge Project