New Chair for Australian Grape & Wine

Australian Grape & Wine has appointed John Hart OAM as its new Chairman, succeeding Sandy Clark AO.

Hart is the Executive Chair, Australian Chamber – Tourism, Board member of the Australian Business Register, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, Tourism Australia and The Angus Knight Group.  He has served previously as Chair of the Vocational Education and Training Advisory Board, as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, and as Chair of the Service Industry Skills Council.

The announcement was made at the Australian Grape & Wine AGM.

Clark said: “I have greatly enjoyed my time as both President of the preceding Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA), and as Chairman of Australian Grape & Wine following the amalgamation of WFA and Australian Vignerons. It has been a very worthwhile experience and I am pleased to see that such a qualified individual as John Hart is taking the reins.”

Australian Grape & Wine Chief Executive Tony Battaglene paid tribute to Clark, noting: “Sandy has devoted an enormous amount of time to WFA and Australian Grape & Wine. His leadership has been instrumental in ensuring that the Australian Grape and Wine sector is understood and respected by the Australian government.

“I look forward to working with John, and we are delighted he has accepted this role. The current difficult economic climate requires Australian Grape & Wine to advocate strongly, for the sector and I look forward to working with John to promote the sector’s interests.”

Hart concluded: “I am looking forward to working with the Board and the Australian Grape & Wine team on key issues and challenges confronting the industry.”

Jane Mitchell honoured as wine industry great

Jane Mitchell from Mitchell Wines in the Clare Valley was also honoured at the AGM as a Life Member of the Australian wine industry.

Jane’s outstanding achievements and efforts over many years in the winery, boardrooms and in her community have played a key role in creating a vibrant modern industry.

After more than 43 vintages and working in all facets of winemaking at Mitchell Wines, Jane was recognised for her commitment to the wine industry. Jane was one of the first appointees of the South Australian Tourism Commission. For 12 years, she was on the Australian Regional Winemakers’ Forum, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Council and served a six-year term with the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Board.

“This Award recognises outstanding leadership and contribution to the nation’s wine industry over and above an individual’s career achievements,” said outgoing Australian Grape & Wine Chairman Sandy Clark.

“Jane is an exceptionally worthy recipient and takes her place among other greats including Wolf Blass, d’Arry Osborn, Philip Laffer, Terry Lee and the late Brother John May and Peter Wall. Australian Grape & Wine is proud to administer this award.”

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