Graduates to help lead the Australian grape and wine sector

14 Nov 2019
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Fifteen emerging leaders from across the Australian grape and wine community today (Thursday 14 November 2019) graduated from the intensive five-month leadership development program Future Leaders 2019 ready to make their contribution as confident, committed wine sector professionals.

Future Leaders 2019 has taken the participants on a journey 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 Future Leaders program is coordinated and funded by Wine Australia and supported by Australian Grape & Wine. 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.’

Australian Grape & Wine Chief Executive 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. 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, 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. Plus, 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).

Future Leaders is designed and delivered by Pragmatic Thinking, using contemporary leadership thought practices grounded in behavioural science and neuro science. 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 Future Leaders 2017 program, 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.

Click here for images.

For media enquiries please contact

Hannah Bentley, Communications Manager

Wine Australia

Phone: 08 8228 2027 / 0428 930 865'at'

About Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets, protecting the reputation of Australian wine and administering the Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Wine Australia is an Australian Commonwealth Government statutory authority, established under the Wine Australia Act 2013, and funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for RD&E investments.

About Future Leaders

Future Leaders is a professional and personal development program that encourages innovative, collaborative and change-making behaviours in the Australian wine sector. It encourages those who have demonstrated leadership potential to dare to ask ‘Why’ and ‘What if…?’
Future Leaders creates a network of confident, committed individuals who will ‘be next’ to contribute to the future success of the Australian grape and wine community.
Future Leaders is funded by Wine Australia and supported by Australia’s major wine sector body Australian Grape and Wine. Wine Australia gratefully acknowledges the support of Thomas Elder Consulting as a key supporter and sponsorship partner for Future Leaders 2019 and Longview Vineyard for hosting The Art of Leadership session in regional South Australia. Visit 

About Australian Grape & Wine Inc

Australian Grape & Wine Inc is the national association of grape and wine producers. We address issues across the supply-chain that impact on the profitability and sustainability of the sector. We lead and advocate public policy that enhances the ability to responsibly produce, promote and enjoy Australian wine in moderation.

Australian Grape & Wine is a passionate supporter of the development of our people and champions diversity & equality in all aspects of the Australian wine sector.



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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.