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25/02/2010

AWRI announces new chair

Peter Dawson, former senior vice president of group operations and technical for Constellation Wines, has been appointed chair of the board of The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI).

AWRI managing director Professor Sakkie Pretorius said Dawson had more than 30 years of experience in winemaking and operations at senior levels, and had twice received the title of International Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London.

He said Dawson brought a stable and visionary stewardship to the AWRI's board table, having played a pivotal role in the development of one of Australia’s largest wine companies and the industry as a whole, serving on many industry advisory committees, including the board of the AWRI for the past 10 years.

Dawson takes over the role as chair of the AWRI’s board at an interesting time in the history of the industry.

“Many grape and wine producers are doing it tough right now,” said Dawson. “Organisations that service the industry have an obligation to ensure they deliver tangible benefits. Now, more than ever, investment in research is critical. Researchers need to get into the trenches with the producers to work out real solutions. I look forward to working with the AWRI board to facilitate outcomes which are beneficial, penetrating and long-lasting.”

Dawson has a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science), and is an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Science and Technology at Deakin University. He has also been a national wine show judge and an inspector with the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Export Approval Panel.

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