Meet our Future Leaders, those who will ‘be next’ in leading the Australian wine sector

After a record number of applications were received for the 2015 intake of the Future Leaders program, 15 rising stars from the Australian grape and wine community have now been chosen to ‘be next’.

The Future Leaders 2015 group includes:

  • Jason Amos: Lallemand Australia Pty Ltd
  • Sam Barry: Jim Barry Wines
  • Nigel Blieschke: Peter Lehmann Wines
  • Angela Brown: All Saints Estate & St Leonards Vineyard
  • Lilian Carter: Private client winemaker/wine industry consultant
  • Andrew Calabria: Calabria Family Wines
  • Christian Dal Zotto: Dal Zotto Wines
  • James Hook: DJ’s Grower Services
  • Stuart Hordern: Brokenwood Wines
  • Tom Keelan: The Pawn Wine Co
  • Danielle Kennedy: Camperdown Cellars
  • Dave Milne: Josef Chromy Wines
  • Suzanne Muntz: Xanadu Wines
  • Samantha Payne: Consultant Sommelier/freelance wine writer
  • Gemma West: Treasury Wine Estates

Coordinated by Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) in partnership with Wine and Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA), the program is designed to develop participants’ leadership capabilities and encourage innovation and thoughtful debate on the future of the sector.

AGWA Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the calibre of applicants was representative of the immense talent working in the Australian wine community.

‘There are so many passionate and talented people working in the grape and wine sector, right along the value chain.

‘Collaborating with WGGA and WFA, this leadership program fosters our up-and-coming talent, those individuals who will lead Australian wine in the future.’

WGGA Executive Director Lawrie Stanford and WFA Chief Executive Paul Evans encouraged applicants to get the most from this opportunity to learn, network, identify their aptitude and strengths in leadership, and to give back to the industry.

‘Future Leaders is about ensuring the next generation has the support and skills necessary to lead the way. There is a critical need for their innovation and fresh thinking in decision making,’ said Mr Evans.

The selection criteria helped uncover applicants with open, creative, inquisitive minds; leadership potential and demonstrated commitment to the success of the Australian wine sector.

Over the past ten years, the program has produced 75 alumni from the grape and wine community and this year sees another diverse mix that includes winemakers, grape growers, suppliers, marketers, consultants and off-premise retailers.

The FL2015 group commenced a six-month program this month, including four face-to-face sessions across the country that aims to challenge and stretch them both professionally and personally. The 2015 future leaders will be encouraged to innovate, collaborate and ‘change the game’ by asking the tough questions and finding transformative solutions for the betterment of the sector.

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FL2015 Collage RESIZE