Round leather collar in Egyptian-style, with gold tassels and red beading decoration, worn by Bernice Kopple as part of one of her cabaret acts during the 1960s. Bernice migrated from Scotland to Australia in 1950.
Bernice Kopple was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1930 and migrated to Melbourne onboard the ship New Australia in 1950. She was nineteen years old and travelled alone, her mother and three siblings following later. Bernice was crowned Miss New Australia during the voyage, and went on to be Miss Torquay at the Sun Beach girl contest in 1951. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Bernice worked as a model, entertainer, showgirl, snake dancer and animal handler on entertainment circuits around Australia and New Zealand. She pursued her passion for animals as a keeper at the Melbourne Zoo, lecturing on wildlife in schools and on television and developing her snake act in theatres, clubs, tent shows and drive-in cinemas.
In the 1970s, Bernice moved from Melbourne to Adelaide and worked as a mature model for daywear, bikinis and lingerie.. She toured Australia with her dog and caravan, cultivating her reputation as a modern, independent woman, mustering, cooking and jillarooing in the Northern Territory and becoming manager at the Cairns Oceanarium. During the 1980s and 1990s, Bernice continued with modelling work and animal care in Adelaide until 2002, and she died in 2011. Bernice was well known for her energy, beauty, and wit and also remained proud of her Scottish heritage.
Round leather collar in Egyptian-style, with two gold tassels, red beading decoration and double gold edging.
Donation from Rachel Legge, 07 Apr 2014
Type of item
460 mm (Width), 330 mm (Height)