A fresh batch of graduates has emerged from the Future Leaders program ready to make their marks on the Australian wine industry.

Future Leaders is a Wine Australia program which launched in 2006 to develop skills of professionals in the sector and is supported by Australian Grape & Wine.

Last week 15 grape and wine industry experts graduated from the intensive five-month leadership development program and come from all different areas of the sector from viticulture and winemaking to marketing, sales, e-commerce, management, research and production.

The Future Leaders program aims to support a new generation of professionals to build knowledge and networks while generating enthusiasm to take the sector forward.

Wine Australia CEO, Dr Martin Cole, said the course fosters agile and resilient leadership behaviours. 

“It supports and celebrates the diversity of thought from the emerging leaders across our sector,” Dr Cole said.

“I am delighted that Future Leaders has nurtured the enthusiasm of this talented group of people who are willing to contribute solutions to the challenges facing our community.”

Future Leaders 2022 graduate Steve Faulkner, who is a senior viticulturist at Oakridge Wines, said the learning and real-life application of that learning has been invaluable.

“Personal development and leadership skills for life lie ahead if you are successful,” he said.

Fellow graduate Emily Hay, who works in marketing and communications for Barossa Australia, said the course was transformational.

“It’s raw and real, taking you beyond the standard rhetoric and tactics to tap into leadership in your own way,” she said. 

“With the confidence and strength this has unlocked in us all, we’ll successfully navigate the turbulent times our sector continues to face.”

The Future Leaders 2022 are: Aaron Mercer, Mercer Wines (Hunter Valley); Amanda Whiteland, Margaret River Wine Association (Margaret River); Briony Hoare, Beach Road Wines (McLaren Vale); Daniel McDonald, The Cutting & Pernod Ricard Winemakers (Barossa Valley); Emily Hay, Barossa Australia (Barossa); Ewan Proctor, Vivino (Yarra Valley); Jean Macintyre, Pernod Ricard Winemakers (Adelaide); Josh Hixson, Australian Wine Research Institute (Adelaide); Kate Sturgess, Brokenwood Wines (Hunter Valley); Katherine Herd, Domaine Chandon (Yarra Valley); Lauren Hansen, Penley Estate (Coonawarra); Mavis Zhang, Wine Network Consulting (Melbourne); Richard Burch, Howard Park Wines (Perth); Steven Faulkner, Oakridge Wines (Yarra Valley); and Zoe Downer, Counter Space (Adelaide).

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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