Ready to influence the future

10 Nov 2015
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Sixteen potential game-changers in the Australian grape and wine community have graduated from Future Leaders 2015 following a successful six-month program.

The successful leadership program has now produced more than 90 alumni from the grape and wine community over the past 10 years, including winemakers, grapegrowers and viticulturists, business managers and marketers, suppliers and researchers.

Funded by the sector and coordinated by Wine Australia in partnership with Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA), Future Leaders develops personal and professional leadership skills, encourages the development of collaborative networks and provides an understanding of the broader Australian grape and wine community.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said ‘The Future Leaders 2015 are truly committed to the prosperity of Australian wine and to acting collectively to positively influence the future.’ 

The Future Leaders were this year encouraged to innovate, collaborate and ‘change the game’ by asking the tough questions and finding transformative solutions for the betterment of the sector. The program included five sessions held across the country.

Future Leader Dave Milne from Josef Chromy Wines in Tasmania said the program provided the opportunity to hear from fantastic speakers and sector leaders.

‘It’s made us more aware of the challenges our colleagues face in other regions – being from Tasmania our issues are quite different to the Riverland. Some opinions that I previously had were founded on limited knowledge, it’s provided me with greater insight and knowledge to contribute to the conversation of our sector’s future’, Mr Milne said.

WGGA Executive Director Lawrie Stanford and WFA Chief Executive Paul Evans were inspired by the graduates’ enthusiasm for the learning they gained as well as for the plans they had for translating this into practice.
‘The group’s input into the sector’s affairs is keenly anticipated’, said Mr Stanford.  

‘Future Leaders gives participants a rare opportunity to learn from decision makers, to network and expand their knowledge in the field as well as help develop new ideas to continue building achievements for the Australian wine industry,’ Mr Evans said. ‘Congratulations to everyone involved for delivering the successful FL15 program.’

Future Leader Suzie Muntz from Xanadu Wines in Western Australia said ‘I think there are exciting times ahead. Certainly as a group of Future Leaders we’ve got ideas and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running.’
The Future Leaders 2015 are:

  • Jason Amos, Lallemand Australia Pty Ltd
  • Sam Barry, Jim Barry Wines
  • Nigel Blieschke, Peter Lehmann Wines
  • Angela Brown, All Saints Estate & St Leonards Vineyard
  • Lilian Carter, Private client winemaker/wine industry consultant
  • Andrew Calabria, Calabria Family Wines
  • Christian Dal Zotto, Dal Zotto Wines
  • Anne Duncan*, Wine Australia
  • James Hook, DJ's Grower Services
  • Stuart Hordern, Brokenwood Wines
  • Tom Keelan, The Pawn Wine Co
  • Danielle Kennedy, Camperdown Cellars
  • Dave Milne, Josef Chromy Wines
  • Suzie Muntz, Xanadu Wines
  • Samantha Payne, Consultant Sommelier/freelance wine writer
  • Gemma West, Treasury Wine Estates

*Anne Duncan joined the group at the invitation of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, who ran sessions 2 to 6 of the program on the sector’s behalf.


About Future Leaders

Future Leaders is a professional and personal development program that creates a network of confident, committed individuals who will ‘be next’ and contribute to the future success of the Australian wine community. 

Funded by the sector and coordinated by Wine Australia, Future Leaders 2015 was offered to 16 applicants with open, creative, inquisitive minds who are early- to mid-career and already demonstrating leadership potential.

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