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The development and success of the Australian grape and wine sector is driven largely by individuals: innovative and collaborative change-makers who contribute their knowledge and time to the greater good of the sector.

Future Leaders is the wine community’s national professional and personal development program cultivating world-class leadership qualities across the sector. It creates a network of confident and committed individuals who are ready to ‘be next’: taking their businesses and our sector to the next level, contributing to the future success and longevity of the Australian wine community.

Funded by the sector and coordinated by Wine Australia, Future Leaders is a biennial program offered to applicants with open, creative, inquisitive minds who are typically early to mid-career and already demonstrating leadership potential.

If you’re accepted into the program you’ll hear from some of Australia’s best speakers on topics such as innovation, leadership and culture. You’ll connect with people from across the Australian grape and wine community, including our Future Leaders Alumni.

Since 2006 there have been over 120 Future Leaders graduates. Many have taken roles at regional wine and grape grower associations and some have been appointed to national committees and boards.

Visit for more information about the program. Please email [email protected] if you have any queries.

Meet our Future Leaders 

The program scheduled to commence in 2021 is now commencing in June 2022. Future Leaders is a biennial program and this change does not impact the call for applications for Future Leaders 2023, which will open January 2023.

One participant, Victoria Soffer, Coles Liquor (Melbourne, Vic) has deferred her place to 2023. We are pleased to welcome to the 2022 group Zoe Downer, from Counter Space (Adelaide, SA).

Fifteen dynamic and skilled members of the Australian wine community have joined the roll call of the grape and wine sector’s professional and personal development program, Future Leaders. Comprising members from across the breadth the sector – including viticulturists, winemakers, consultants, scientists, communicators and executives – the Future Leaders 2022 are:

Aaron Mercer

Mercer Wines (Hunter Valley, NSW)

Amanda Whiteland

Margaret River Wine Association (Margaret River, WA)

Briony Hoare

Beach Road Wines (McLaren Vale, SA)

Daniel McDonald

The Cutting & Pernod Ricard Winemakers (Barossa Valley, SA)

Emily Hay

Barossa Grape & Wine Association (Barossa Valley, SA)

Ewan Proctor

Vivino (Yarra Valley, VIC) 

Jean Macintyre

Pernod Ricard Winemakers (Adelaide, SA)

Josh Hixson

Australian Wine Research Institute (Adelaide, SA)

Kate Sturgess

Brokenwood Wines (Hunter Valley, NSW)

Katherine Herd

Domaine Chandon (Yarra Valley, VIC) 

Lauren Hansen

Penley Estate (Coonawarra, SA)

Mavis Zhang

Wine Network Consulting (Melbourne, VIC)

Richard Burch

Howard Park Wines (Perth, WA)

Steven Faulkner

Oakridge Wines (Yarra Valley, VIC) 

Zoe Downer

Counter Space (Adelaide, SA)

Read our announcement here

Visit for more information about the program. 

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.