By Andy Young

Sixteen talented and driven professionals from the Australian grape and wine community have been chosen to be the Future Leaders 2017.

Coordinated by Wine Australia in partnership with the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) and Australian Vignerons (AV), the Future Leaders program is designed to develop participants’ leadership capabilities and encourage innovation and thoughtful debate on the future of the sector.

Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the calibre of applicants again reflected the impressive talent working in the Australian grape and wine sector.

“The Future Leaders program is an opportunity to bring together emerging leaders from all parts of our sector and help them develop the skills to work collaboratively and creatively toward a common goal for long-term prosperity. It’s a unique leadership program that’s been specifically designed for the needs of the Australian grape and wine sector,” Clark said

“The future success of our sector is dependent on the strength and capabilities of our people. We want the best and brightest leading the Australian grape and wine community and it’s vital we support them by investing in their professional development so they can confidently lead the sector in the years to come.”

Andrew Weeks and Tony Battaglene, the Chief Executive Officers from AV and WFA, added: “The expression of interest from such a large and highly competent field of applicants suggest that the future of the grape and wine sector is in good hands. We look forward to meeting the participants and working with them during the progress of the course.”

The Future Leaders of 2017 are:

  • Alexia Roberts – Galvanized Wine Group (Penny’s Hill)
  • Anthony Robinson – Treasury Wine Estates
  • Chris Dent – Gorton Drive Estates
  • Chris Morrison – Sommelier/Wine Consultant
  • Claire Doughty – Yalumba
  • Gwyneth Olsen – Pepper Tree Wines
  • Marc Soccio – Wine Advisor
  • Mary Hamilton – Hugh Hamilton Wines
  • Natalie Pizzini – Pizzini Wines
  • Paula Edwards – Winegrapes Australia
  • Richard Angove – Angove Family Winemakers
  • Richard Leask – Leask Agri
  • Sarah Collingwood – Four Winds Vineyard
  • Shirley Fraser – De Zolt Byrne Vineyards
  • Simon Killeen – Simão & Co. Wines
  • Wes Pearson – Australian Wine Research Institute

After learning of his selection, Richard Leask said: "I’m excited and apprehensive; the alumni list is impressive and a little daunting! I suppose it feels like just before vintage, you have some idea what you’re in for and that it will challenge you at times but you can’t wait to get into it.

"I’m hoping to discover personal leadership strengths and weaknesses and the tools to improve on both. To open up a new network of people that will keep challenging each other and the wine industry to be the best it can be.’

Sarah Collingwood echoed the sentiment saying: "I’m looking forward to the Future Leaders program challenging me both professionally and personally. It’s a great opportunity for me to look up from running my business to establish new connections in the industry and explore the future of business, marketing and governance."

As well as exploring new avenues in business, marketing and governance, 2017 Future Leaders program will also look at how global economics will shape the future.

The participants will also look at new technology, how they can amplify the innovative thinking that already exists in our sector, and they will learn contemporary approaches to people development and commercial success.

They will hear from some of Australia’s best speakers on topics such as innovation, leadership and culture, and they will connect with people from across the grape and wine community, including Future Leaders alumni.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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