Media release – GWRDC Chair re-appointed for second term

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joe Ludwig has re-appointed incumbent Hon Rory McEwen as Chair of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC).

‘I am honoured to be re-appointed to this position and I look forward to working productively with the GWRDC Board as we continue to make strategic investment decisions that support a competitive Australian wine sector’, said Mr McEwen.

Mr McEwen has been re-appointed for three years or until the merger of GWRDC and the Wine Australia Corporation.

‘Rory’s re-appointment provides welcome stability and continuity as we move into a period of preparation and change associated with the proposed merger’, said GWRDC Executive Director Dr Stuart Thomson.

Mr McEwen served as Cabinet Minister for six years and held a number of portfolios, including Minister for Agriculture, Food (including wine), Fisheries and Forestry for five years. He also chaired the South Australian Wine Industry Council and travelled in Asia and North and South America promoting Australian wine.

Mr McEwen’s appointment has been made by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joe Ludwig under the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989.

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Mr McEwen graduated from The University of Adelaide with a degree in agriculture, majoring in agronomy and plant breeding, before fulfilling his National Service obligations as a Sergeant in PNG. Back in Australia he held several middle and senior management positions within the TAFE system including as State Manager of the Rural and Horticultural program.

Rory returned to TAFE to run the School of Rural and Timber Studies and also entered local Government. He was elected as an Independent to the South Australian Parliament in 1997, and re-elected in 2002 and 2006 before retiring at the 2010 election.


GWRDC invests in and directs research, development and extension (RD&E) along the whole value chain ‘from vine to glass’ to support a competitive Australian wine sector.

We collaborate with our key stakeholders to coordinate and direct our investments to best address the sector’s RD&E priorities. GWRDC is funded by grapegrowers and winemakers, who pay levies on the annual winegrape crush, and the Australian Government, which provides matching funds.

For further information:
Jen Russell

Communications Coordinator

Ph: 08 8273 0500