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The search is on for Future Leaders 2023

30 Jan 2023

Applications opened today, Monday 30 January, for the Australian grape and wine sector’s flagship leadership development program Future Leaders.

Future Leaders inspires a new generation of leaders wanting to achieve impactful change at a personal, business and sector level. 

The program connects participants with highly engaging facilitators and distinguished speakers that create long-lasting behaviour change. It supports participants to sharpen decision-making abilities, build networks and enthusiasm to take the grape and wine community forward into tomorrow.

Wine Australia Senior R&D Program Manager and Future Leaders coordinator Jo Hargreaves said challenges over the past few years have shown how fundamental innovation is in leadership. 

“The Future Leaders program has continued to evolve over the years, and the program has honed its focus on resilience and ingenuity in response,” Ms Hargreaves said.

“Importantly, those selected to take part in the program are called on to find their voice, consider some of the sector’s greatest challenges and opportunities, and be part of conversations designed to find the solutions we need.

“Participants come from all across the wine sector’s value chain – from those in the vineyard and winery, through to logistics and marketing, and to research – providing a diversity of experience and a valuable network that alumni draw on many years after completing Future Leaders.”

Zoë Downer, wine marketer and alumni of the 2022 program said, “Future Leaders is a tremendous initiative that I am proud to have experienced. The program is world class and having the opportunity to undertake intensive leadership development such as this is a rare opportunity in and of itself, but to move through the process alongside a handful of others is a rare gift indeed.”

Fellow Future Leaders 2022 Alumni Howard Park Wines Richard Burch, said, “Quite simply, the Future Leaders experience over delivers in so many ways. I highly recommend the program to any aspiring leader in the wine sector.”

Lauren Hansen from Penley Estate, also 2022 program alumni, said, “I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, challenged and supported to grow. The blinkers are off, and I’m thoroughly excited about what the future looks like. I couldn't recommend this program more highly to anyone thinking about applying – you won't regret it.”

Future Leaders is coordinated and funded by Wine Australia, supported by Australian Grape & Wine and delivered with Pragmatic Thinking. The program has identified and developed leaders of the Australian grape and wine community for close to two decades, with more than 100 graduates of the respected program that has continued to grow and evolve

Applications for Future Leaders 2023 will close on 17 March. People across the Australian grape and wine community are encouraged to apply at

For media enquiries please contact or phone 08 8228 2000. 

About Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and adoption (RD&A), growing domestic and international markets, protecting the reputation of Australian wine.

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&A 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 & Wine. Future Leaders is designed and delivered by Pragmatic Thinking, using contemporary leadership thought practices grounded in behavioural science and psychology. 

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 Next Crop regional leadership program, the Wine Industry Mentor Program and research scholarships.

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 recognised as a representative organisation for winegrape and wine producers under the Wine Australia Act 2013, and is incorporated under the SA Associations Incorporation Act 1985. We work in partnership with the Australian Government to develop and implement policy that is in the best interests of winegrape growers and winemakers across Australia.


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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.