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Wine Grape Growers’ Australia appoints first director

The peak national wine grape growers body – Wine Grape Growers’ Australia (WGGA) – has appointed experienced wine industry advocate, Mark McKenzie, as its first Executive Director. Mr McKenzie joins WGGA after 10 years as Chief Executive of the Victorian Wine Industry Association.

His career in the Australian wine industry has also included time as the Corporate Affairs Manager of the Australian Wine & Brandy Producers Association, Public Relations Manager of Brown Brothers, and as principal of his own wine industry communications and marketing consultancy.

WGGA Interim Chairman, Michael De Palma, welcomed Mr McKenzie’s appointment.

“We are very pleased to have someone with such extensive experience as Mark McKenzie to establish and lead the WGGA Secretariat. He is a widely respected industry strategist, lobbyist, and advocate, who has helped turn the Victorian industry association into one of Australia’s most effective wine industry organizations, and we are sure he will also establish WGGA as a very effective peak organization for growers.”

Mr McKenzie said he was looking forward to working with the WGGA Board to implement the organisation’s business plan, to create a strong body with an extensive membership network throughout Australia’s wine grape growing regions.

“I know this is a very difficult time for growers, but it is also very timely that the new national growers’ body is being established now, because more than ever wine grape growers need a strong organisation to take their views to the national industry table. We also need to make sure that our statutory Corporations are investing in programs that growers want, and to speak clearly to the Federal Government about effective policies and programs that allow wine grape producers to have confidence in their future. I am looking forward to getting out to all Australian wine regions to talk with growers about policies and programs that will make a difference, and about how WGGA can play a vital role in representing their interests at the national level.”

Mark McKenzie will officially start with WGGA in Adelaide in late March.



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