New AGWA programs developing industry leaders

A new regional mentoring program has kicked off in the Barossa and McLaren Vale designed to encourage strong industry networks and connections and strong regional businesses.

Mentoring is one part of a suite of AGWA activities aimed at introducing the Australian wine industry’s next generation of leaders to the latest in strategic and leadership thinking and the most recent research findings.

Funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, the new mentoring program was developed in collaboration with the Barossa and McLaren Vale regional associations and a world-recognised mentoring consultant, Dr Ann Darwin.

Program Manager Anne Duncan said the mentoring program was launched in late August and was designed to support  wine industry businesses and encourage adoption and adaption of research findings (a strategic goal) in regional areas.

Supported by the program’s two facilitators, Anthony Scholz in the SA North (Barossa) and Sami Gilligan in the SA Central (McLaren Vale) about eight local grapegrowers and winemakers from each region will participate in the inaugural program.

Ms Duncan said it’s hoped the mentoring circles would better encourage innovative business practices and the adoption of new research and development findings.

“We want to develop a network that offers participants not just personal and professional growth but also acts as a knowledge-sharing platform that encourages critical thinking and promotes innovative business practices,” she said.

In addition to the mentoring program, AGWA also recently hosted its first Alumni Symposium on September 30 and its second annual Post-Graduate Development Day on September 24.

The Alumni Symposium, held in Adelaide, welcomed over 40 graduates from various leadership programs including Future Leaders, the Australian Rural Leadership Program, Nuffield Australia, Next Crop and Next Bunch and Barossa Future Leaders and Barossa Young Ambassadors.

“We want to continue to grow the skills that come from participating in these leadership programs, as well as strengthen and encourage further networks and connections across the industry,” Ms Duncan said.

“The full-day program saw participants introduced to ‘the science of leadership’ through experts Darren Hill and Dr Jason Fox and design-thinking for business, through Dr Sam Bucolo, from the University of Technology, in Sydney.

“We also introduced findings from research invested in by AGWA, delivered through a series of lightning talks concentrating on the benefits of research to business and the industry.”

“We wanted the participants to walk away with some of the new thinking that will support their businesses and a prosperous Australian wine industry.”

AGWA’s Post-Graduate Development Day saw around 35 PhD, Masters and current Honours students participate in the Adelaide workshop, with a focus on career and communication advice and skills.

Program Manager Adrian Loschiavo said the aim of the annual event was to offer communication and personal career advice to the current crop of student researchers, many of them completing AGWA-funded research for the grape and wine industry

“The program was facilitated by agricultural career development expert Jeanette Long, with recruitment expert Geoff Lucas also providing some excellent career and communication advice to participants.”

The agenda included presentation and public speaking skills for delivering research outcomes, as well as resume and interview techniques.

“The day concluded with a dinner and guest speaker Ashley Ratcliff, Oxford Landing Viticulture and Winery Manager with Yalumba Wine Company – talking about his own unique experience and achievements in the industry,” Mr Loschiavo said.

“Ultimately, we hope to use the day as a way to offer professional communication and presentation skills they may not have had access to before, but to also encourage them to stay involved and see the potential of a long and productive career with the Australian wine industry.”




Adjectives to describe the day - posted by attendees
Adjectives to describe the day - posted by attendees