South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) President, Kirsty Balnaves has announced the appointment of Inca Lee as the association’s new Chief Executive, commencing at the end of June 2023.

Inca Lee, who is the current Chief Executive of Vinehealth Australia, will replace Brian Smedley, who in January announced his intention to retire. SAWIA said that Lee brings a wealth of experience to the association with knowledge of working with Government and having worked in wine industry corporate roles and industry organisations.

Lee said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on SAWIA’s impressive advocacy and leadership position, and highly valued member services.

“I look forward to working alongside the SAWIA team, members, industry and government to advance the position of our great industry.”

Balnaves added: “As you would expect, the rare opportunity to apply for this vacancy drew significant interest from candidates, demonstrated diversity and inclusivity, strong skills, varied competencies, and wide and varied industry experience from both within and outside South Australia.

“Current SAWIA CEO, Brian Smedley has established SAWIA as a respected peak body for the South Australian wine industry in his 15 years as Chief Executive and will leave an unprecedented legacy.”

SAWIA said Lee’s appointment will further strengthen the working relationship between SAWIA and Vinehealth Australia as well as South Australia’s 18 wine regions.

Outgoing CEO Smedley said: “I look forward to working with Inca in a very different capacity once she starts with SAWIA in June, as I complete a thorough hand over prior to my retirement in July 2023.”

SAWIA provides support, advocacy and leadership to wine industry members, and aims to build valued relationships across the South Australian wine industry. 

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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