Professor Kiaran Kirk is the new chair of the board of the Australian Wine Research Institute.
He will take over from current chair Louisa Rose on 1 January 2023.
“The AWRI is a unique research organisation with a talented and dedicated team working for the benefit of the Australian grape and wine industry,” Professor Kirk says.
“It will be an honour to serve as its 16th chair.
“I’d like to acknowledge the exceptional leadership Louisa has provided to the board, and in the wine industry more broadly, over the past eight years.
“She leaves big shoes to fill.”
Prof. Kirk has served on the AWRI board since 2017.
Prof. Kirk has published extensively in the field of biochemistry and has more than 25 years’ experience in the Australian research and education sector.
He was appointed to the board for a new term along with new director Sarah Courtney through a new process put in place following changes to the AWRI Constitution in 2022.
A nominations committee, chaired by former director Dr John Harvey, conducted a rigorous and independent recruitment process, which recommended the appointment of Prof. Kirk and Ms Courtney to the board. This recommendation was accepted at the most recent board meeting on 20 September.
Louisa Rose says, “I am delighted that our new processes have resulted in two such excellent appointments to the Board.
“Kiaran has been a valued member of the board since 2017. His deep connections to the Australian wine industry combined with his exceptional research and research administration experience make him uniquely suited to the role of chair.
“Ms Courtney brings an outstanding record of skills and achievements in finance, engineering, viticulture, governance and government, all of which will contribute greatly to the ongoing success of the AWRI.”
Ms Courtney was the Member for Bass (Tasmania) between March 2014 and February 2022.
She held a range of ministerial portfolios in the Tasmanian Government between March 2018 and February 2022, including serving as Minister for Primary Industries and Water.
She holds degrees in commerce, chemical engineering and viticulture and worked in the finance sector prior to her career in politics.
Ms Courtney is also the founder, owner and director of Fish Hook Wines, a boutique Pinot Noir vineyard in the Tamar Valley.
The AWRI has also announced that nominations are open for two levy payer-elected director positions on the AWRI board to take office on 1 January 2023.
The first position is newly created following the recent updates to the AWRI Constitution and is nominated/elected by Grape Research Levy payers.
The second position is for the large category of Wine Grapes Levy payers.
Nomination forms and further information are available from the AWRI website.
Photo: New chair Kiaran Kirk with the outgoing Louisa Rose.