AWRI board announces three appointments and opens nominations for elections

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) Board announced yesterday the appointment of three directors: Trish Barry, Carolyn MacDonald and Damien Sheehan, effective from 1 November 2023.

Trish Barry and Carolyn MacDonald were appointed following a recruitment process conducted by the AWRI nominations committee for appointed directors. Damien Sheehan was appointed to the grape research levy payer elected position left vacant following the resignation of Andy Clarke in August, as the next highest voted candidate in the 2022 election, to reflect the wishes of grape research levy payers.

Prof. Kiaran Kirk, AWRI chair commented on these appointments.

“The AWRI Board is delighted to have appointed three such well qualified new Directors. They will bring exceptional experience and skills to the Board from three different sectors and we look forward to working with them.”

Barry is an experienced communications and marketing leader, having worked extensively in wine, tourism and financial services for over 20 years. She is CEO and founder of Mastermind Consulting; a Wine Australia Future Leaders Alumni (2012); and 2020 Wine Communicators of Australia Wine Communicator of the Year and Digital Communicator of the Year.

MacDonald is an executive with leadership experience across the medical research, broadcasting, digital media and publishing sectors. She is the chief operating officer of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) where she leads professional services encompassing business development, communication, marketing, research grants, philanthropy, bioservices, facilities, governance, risk, compliance and IT.

Sheehan is a qualified viticulturist with over 30 years’ experience. He is currently the general manager and viticulturist of Mount Langi Ghiran winery in the Grampians region of Victoria. He is the president of the Grampians Winemakers Inc., committee member of the National Winegrape Biosecurity Committee and former chair of Wine Victoria.

The AWRI also announced today that nominations are open for two levy payer-elected director positions on the AWRI Board to take office on 1 January 2024.

The first position is for the small category of wine grapes levy payers and the second position is for the medium category of wine grapes levy payers. This is an excellent opportunity for interested candidates to become involved in the Australian grape and wine industry’s own R&D organisation.

Nomination forms and further information are available from the AWRI website: or by contacting Shiralee Dodd, the Returning Officer, at [email protected].

Nominations close on Friday, 20 October 2023 at 5:00 pm CDT.

Are you a Daily Wine News subscriber? If not, click here to join our mailing list. It’s free!