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Bumper Crop Of Future Leaders

By Thursday 13 May 2021No Comments

Fifteen members of the Australian wine community have joined the roll call of the grape and wine sector’s professional and personal development program, Future Leaders.

Wine Australia CEO and chair of the Future Leaders 2021 selection panel Andreas Clark says the applications this year were outstanding.

“Almost 100 applications were received for this year’s program and it was a highly competitive field,” he says.

“It was exciting to hear more about the incredible skills and diverse experiences of people within our community – and it was difficult to select just 15 people.

“The 15 Future Leaders selected will experience some changes to the program compared to previous years.

“Over the past 18 months our sector has experienced significant disruption and we recognise that the skills that we need to develop have evolved.

“I look forward to meeting with the Future Leaders group to discuss how we can work towards making lasting differences and support our grape and wine community through ongoing uncertainty.”

The 2021 Future Leaders 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 Grape & Wine Association Barossa Valley
Ewan Proctor Extended Play Consulting 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
Victoria Soffer Coles Liquor Melbourne

Kate Sturgess, winemaker at Brokenwood Wines says, “Gaining a place in the Future Leaders program for me means building a pathway towards being able to enact real change within the Australian wine industry to make sure it is wholly inclusive and sustainable for future generations.

“It also allows me to build a new network of people within the industry to gain insight across all aspects and to be able to better represent everyone involved.”

Steven Faulkner, senior viticulturist at Oakridge Wines, says he was humbled to be joining Future Leaders.

“Being chosen from amongst my peers, gives me confidence in myself and the direction I have chosen in the wine industry,” he says.

“I look forward to gaining leadership skills that I need to impact the wine industry in a positive professional way.

“I love my career in the vineyard, and I want to share it with others and encourage other people to enter into viticulture.”

CEO of Margaret River Wine Association Amanda Whiteland says she is honoured to be accepted.

“Gaining a place in the Future Leaders program is not only a real honour and privilege for me personally, but I also believe it is great news for the Margaret River community and the Western Australia wine industry,” she says.

“What I most look forward to is sharing the learnings and value that this program provides in our regions.”

Future Leaders 2021 is funded by Wine Australia, supported by Australian Grape & Wine and delivered with Pragmatic Thinking.

The program – which is run every two years – has identified and developed leaders of the Australian grape and wine community since 2006, with more than 100 graduates of the program.

Image caption: Future Leaders from top left to right: Aaron Mercer, Amanda Whiteland, Briony Hoare, Daniel McDonald, Emily Hay, Ewan Proctor, Jean Macintyre, Josh Hixson, Kate Sturgess, Katherine Herd, Lauren Hansen, Mavis Zhang, Richard Burch, Steven Faulkner and Victoria Soffer. 

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