APPLICATIONS FOR THE Future Leaders 2017 program are open till early March, to members of the grape and wine community who are early to mid-career and demonstrating leadership potential.
Funded by the sector and coordinated by Wine Australia, Future Leaders is a unique leadership program that’s been specifically designed for the needs of the Australian grape and wine sector.
The program is an opportunity to bring together emerging leaders from the sector right along the value chain and help them develop the skills to work collaboratively and creatively toward a common goal for long-term prosperity.

Who will be next?


This year, Pragmatic Thinking, a behaviour and motivation strategy company, has been brought on board to facilitate the 2017 program.
Participants will explore new avenues in business, marketing and governance, and will also look at how global economics will shape the future.
They will explore new technology, learn contemporary approaches to personnel development and commercial success and hear from some of Australia’s best while connecting with people from across the grape and wine community.
The program consists of six face-to-face sessions over six months, between June and October 2017. Each session will be run across one-to-five days and each will require travel to locations across Australia.

“The future success of our sector is dependent on the strength and capabilities of our people. It’s vital we support them by investing in their professional development so they can confidently lead the sector in the years to come,” said Andreas Clark, Wine Australia CEO.

In 2015-16 Wine Australia invested $565K in 88 people development programs, including Future Leaders for those in the Australian grape and wine community.
Senator Anne Ruston, the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, is encouraging the rising stars of Australian grape and wine to apply.

“The Australian grape and wine sector contributes more than $40 billion to our national economy through exports, tourism and employment, particularly in our regional areas,” Ruston said.
“The Future Leaders program is specifically tailored to assist the grape and wine sector build skills in collaboration, innovative thinking, commercial acuity and spirited leadership.
“The international and domestic wine markets are highly competitive and that’s not going to change. Future Leaders means that the next generation will be ready to capture the opportunities created by increased market access and improved awareness of Australia’s premium wines.” 


Applications are open till 9th March, 2017.
Fill out an application here:
Future Leaders will be offered to at least 15 applicants.
Six face-to-face sessions held across Australia between June and October 2017.
Participants will need to pay travel and accommodation costs.
Use #FL2017 to tag someone who you think is ready and encourage them to put in an application.


Over the past decade Future Leaders; funded by Australian Vignerons, Wine Australia and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia; has helped the Australian wine community prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.
Anne Duncan, Global Knowledge and People Development Manager 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,” she said.
“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.”

The rapid growth and development of Australian wine in the 1990’s was driven largely by individuals; innovative and collaborative change-makers who contributed their knowledge and time to the greater good of the sector.
The Future Leaders program is designed for the next crop of those leaders to step up and take the wine sector to the next level. 


Past participant Corrina Wright, Winemaker and Director at Oliver’s Taranga, joined the very first program in 2006.
“Being part of the first intake, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it was really eye-opening. I learned a lot about myself, what sort of leader I am and how the industry ticks. I most enjoyed the people; they are all still close friends and we formed a bond that has been valuable and valued over many years,” she said.

The 91 past Future Leaders participants have include winemakers, grapegrowers, viticulturists, suppliers, researchers, managers and marketers; many of who now head the industry’s national and regional bodies.

Examples like Eliza Brown, Mary Retallack (Wine Australia board members), Andrew Weeks (Australian Vignerons CEO) and Dan Johnson (Managing Director of the Australia Wine Research Institute) are only the tip of an iceberg that includes directors, winemakers and regional leaders across the industry.
Such as Brett McKinnon, Global Operations Director at Pernod Ricard Winemakers and Tom Ward, president of the NSW Wine Industry Association.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without the Future Leaders program. Get ready to challenge yourself and be willing to change your life,” Ward said.