Q&A with Renata Bernard

International Women's Day acknowledges the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. These are the stories of three women who are challenging the status quo, through driving change and equality.

Dr Renata Bernard

Creative Director 

Renata Bernard is Creative Director of the premier Australian opal jewellery house, Opal Minded. A migrant and ex-academic, now also a gemmologist (GIA) and valuer (NCJV), Renata designs stunning jewellery around opals with certified origins. Many are from Opal Minded’s own mines in Queensland. Visit the Opal Minded boutique in The Rocks or shop online at

 Can you please tell us a little bit about your experience with Peter Sheppard Footwear and how long you’ve been involved with the business?  

Since I bought my first Peter Sheppard shoes a few years back, it has become our go-to shoe store for the three generations of women in our family. I love the quality of service and in-store attention. One of my favourite pairs is a hot pink suede stiletto - the most comfortable heels I own.  

What is your fondest memory of Peter Sheppard to date?  

Any time I get wonderfully motherly advice by a mature Peter Sheppard Sales Executive. It is no-nonsense, heart-felt counsel on beautiful, quality footwear for a woman on the go. 

Through 2020 everyone was thrown their fair share of obstacles. How did you navigate your way through and what positive mantras helped you along the way?  

In 2020 our successful bespoke Australian opal jewellery business, Opal Minded, lost almost all foot-traffic from our international visitor clientele. I could have chosen to wait it through, but instead decided to make Opal Minded a better business. My mantra for that time was, “keep your eyes on the horizon; accept the lesson and be grateful for the good it brings.”  

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. What does this theme mean to you? 

To me #ChooseToChallenge is about empowerment. Support it, speak it, yet better BE it. Regardless of your moment in life, where and how you are, you owe it to you to be yourself and to do and be what you love.  

If you could provide a piece of advice for someone looking to follow in your footsteps, what would it be? 

I left Eastern Europe in 1994 and arrived in Australia with $100 dollars in my wallet. So, believe me, whether your dream is to start your own business, or you’re in your 40’s and want a career change, or you aspire to succeed in a new field – you can do it. Look for people who inspire you and reach out to them. Learn from the best. Never doubt your resolve and never let an opportunity slip through your fingers. Whatever you want to achieve, you can, and you will.