At this year’s Australia Day Honours, Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) Board Director Rob Hirst and Hunter Valley Winemaker Jay Tulloch were both awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

An OAM recognises outstanding achievements and contributions in a particular field, with Hirst receiving his award for services to oenology and industry associations, and Tulloch receiving his award for services to oenology.

WCA congratulated Hirst in a LinkedIn post: “Rob has been a valuable member of our board since 2009, Legend of the Vine 2014 recipient and Mentor in the Wine Industry Mentor Program since its fruition.

“Please join us in congratulating Rob on his achievements.”

As well as his involvement with WCA, Hirst is a board member of Tucker Seabrook, Co-Founder of the Australian branch of the Institute of Masters of Wine, and a board member of Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania.

Tulloch has been a key figure in the Hunter Valley wine industry, holding positions as President of the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association and board member of the NSW Wine & Brandy Corporation. This year, he celebrates his 62nd Hunter Valley vintage as a consultant with Tulloch Wines. As well as his OAM, Tulloch was inducted as a Living Legend at the Hunter Valley Legends & Wine Industry Awards in 2009.

Christina Tulloch, CEO of Tulloch Wines and Tulloch’s daughter, said that her father’s OAM is well-deserved.

“As we look back and celebrate Jay’s achievements, we understand that this OAM is not just another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet, but more so a symbol of a lifetime devoted to the Australian Wine Industry and the Hunter Valley community. It signifies resilience, leadership, and an enduring commitment to excellence, values of which have defined the Tulloch name for generations,” she said.

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