Graduates to help lead the Australian grape and wine sector

Fifteen emerging leaders from across the Australian grape and wine community today graduated from an intensive five-month leadership development program.

The new Future Leaders 2019 graduates are ready and eager to make their contribution as confident, committed wine sector professionals.

The program has aided participants to learn new skills and refine existing ones, develop networks and different ways of thinking, and build a solid foundation of knowledge and enthusiasm to contribute to the future of the grape and wine community.

The program is coordinated and funded by Wine Australia and supported by Australian Grape & Wine (AGW). Today’s graduates join more than 100 alumni of the 13-year program.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said, “This year’s Future Leaders embraced the personal and professional challenges the program presented and have shown a commitment to the success of our sector”.

“I’m delighted that the program has helped them to develop the skills, networks and confidence to positively influence the future of our entire community.”

AGW chief executive officer Tony Battaglene said, “People are the most important asset our sector possesses”.

“We have backed this program from the beginning and its success is evident in the professional progression of its graduates and the growth in their role as thought leaders in the sector.”

The graduates of Future Leaders 2019 come from all parts of the grape and wine value chain – from viticulture and winemaking to marketing, sales and export, business investment and market development, managers, directors, event management, sommeliers and research.

Future Leader Catherine Kidman from Treasury Wine Estates said, “I learnt many amazing concepts, some of which challenged me and others that left a lasting imprint”.

“The opportunity to learn from talented experts and interact with coaches and past alumni has been so rewarding,” she said.

“I feel our crew entered as individuals on a quest and are leaving as friends and importantly allies as we navigate our future paths.

“The program has challenged me and shaped me to be an inspired future leader very much upskilled, ready and excited for the future of the wine sector and my role within it.”

Fellow Future Leaders graduate associate professor Armando Maria Corsi, from the University of South Australia, said, “Put simply, it’s a life-changing experience”.

“The Future Leaders sessions radically changed my approach to tackle problems and gave me the chance to review how to set up personal and professional life goals,” Corsi said.

“I had the opportunity to meet some pretty spectacular human beings along the way, who are motivated by the very same goal: to make our wine sector better.”

The Future Leaders 2019 are:

  • Andy Clarke, The Dirt Dude Ag Advisor (Bendigo)
  • Armando Maria Corsi, University of South Australia, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science (Adelaide)
  • Carrah Lymer, Emerge Creative Agency (Griffith)
  • Catherine Kidman, Treasury Wine Estates (Coonawarra)
  • Chris Thomas, Dowie Doole (McLaren Vale)
  • Dylan McMahon, Seville Estate (Yarra Valley)
  • Hayley Purbrick, Tahbilk (Nagambie)
  • Jessica Chrcek, Moothi Estate (Mudgee)
  • Kavita Faiella, Shaw and Smith (Adelaide Hills)
  • Keira O’Brien, Tasmanian Vintners (Hobart)
  • Marco Gjergja, Kooyong Wines Port Phillip Estate (Mornington Peninsula)
  • Mark Fogarty, Fogarty Wine Group (Western Australia)
  • Matthew Bahen, DeBortoli Wines (Yarra Valley and Hunter Valley)
  • Nadja Wallington, Philip Shaw Wines (Orange)
  • Tom Donegan, Voyager Estate (Margaret River).

Wine Australia also welcomed Thomas Elder Consulting as inaugural sponsor of the program in 2019, which shared its knowledge and expertise as well as enhancing the experience for the Future Leaders.

Continuing a tradition set in the program’s 2017 iteration, the 2019 program participants were asked to put pen to paper and express their thoughts on pressing issues for them, their business or the broader sector, which has been compiled into a book Thought Leadership Volume 2.

Wine Australia invests in the Future Leaders program as part of its policy of investing in sector leadership.

In the same vein, it supports the Nuffield Australia program, travel bursaries and post-graduate scholarships.