Six of McLaren Vale’s wine industry super stars have recently been announced as the 2017 participants of the Future Leaders program.
Future Leaders is a combined initiative of Wine Australia, the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) and Australian Vignerons (formerly Wine Grape Growers Australia).
Future Leaders is a professional and personal development program that aims to create a network of confident, committed individuals who will "be next" in contributing to the future success of the Australian Wine community.
Through a competitive application process, McLaren Vale’s six Future Leaders include Alexia Roberts (Galvanised Wine Group), Mary Hamilton (Hugh Hamilton Wines), Paula Edwards (Winegrapes Australia), Richard Angove (Angove Wines), Richard Leask (Leask Agri) and Wes Pearson (Dodgy Bros Wines).
Dr Liz Waters, General Manager, Research, Development and Extension at Wine Australia, is overseeing the 2017 program and says a leadership drought is one of the biggest risks the sector faces.
“The international and domestic wine markets are highly competitive and that’s not going to change. To ensure our sector’s future success we need the next generation of leaders to be ready to take us forward,” said Dr Waters.
“We need leaders who can be catalysts for innovation, who can adapt to the inevitable changes that our sector will face in the future, and who can drive the continual evolution of the Australian wine story, be they winemakers, grapegrowers, export managers or researchers.”
This year’s participants will look at new technology, how they can amplify the innovative thinking that already exists and will also learn contemporary approaches to people development and commercial success.
Richard Leask, Director of Leask Agri is looking forward to building on the skill-set he has established from many years in the wine industry.
“If you look at the past alumni from McLaren Vale we have a good track record of regional and national involvement post-program. I have already been involved in numerous projects at a regional level through McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association, and this hopefully will add to the foundation of skills I have gained in those roles,” said Mr Leask.
“With a number of McLaren Vale identities in this year’s Program. I believe we will bring back a strong skill set to help keep the upward trend of brand McLaren Vale going and provide direction for the future.”
McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch is impressed with McLaren Vale’s predominant representation in the 2017 Program.
“Six out of 16 industry participants of the 2017 Program hail from McLaren Vale – an incredible demonstration of our region’s emerging and passionate industry leaders,” said Ms Lynch.