The Wine Australia Board today thanked Chair Brian Walsh for his stellar contribution to the Australian grape and wine sector as the inaugural Chair of Wine Australia.
Mr Walsh has announced that he will be stepping down as Chair on 30 September 2019.
‘Over the past five years, Brian has made an unparalleled contribution to the Australian grape and wine community as Chair of Wine Australia at the most critical moment of its modern history’, said long-term Board Director Brian Croser.
‘Faced with a retreating sector after the global financial crisis and the challenge of merging two statutory organisations, he has led a consensus Board and motivated Wine Australia’s executive team to meet the challenges.
‘Largely due to his considered and considerate leadership, with very capable execution by the executive, Wine Australia has been highly effective in elevating Australia’s fine wine image in global markets, advancing quality and competitiveness through research and innovation, and protecting the reputation of Australian wine through diligent application of regulation.
‘The Australian grape and wine community is enjoying a revival as the dynamic and successful contributor to Australian life it has the potential to be and Brian has been a key architect of this revival.
‘For me, the Board and the executive, it has been a pleasure and privilege to work with Brian. We will miss him’, Mr Croser said.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie joined with Wine Australia to congratulate Mr Walsh on a job well done.
‘Since Brian started as Chair five years ago he has overseen a huge increase in the value of Australian wine exports’, Minister McKenzie said.
‘In 2014, when Brian started, Australian wine exports sat at $1.8 billion which has since climbed to $2.8 billion, which is a massive 57 per cent increase.
‘Brian has also been instrumental in overseeing a growing demand for Australian wine in the Asian market and promoting Australian wine internationally as some of the safest, most sustainable and highest quality wine in the world.
‘I thank him for his years of service to Wine Australia and wish him all the best for his future.’
Mr Walsh has chaired Wine Australia (which was earlier known as the Australian Grape and Wine Authority) since the organisation was formed on 1 July 2014 from a merger of Wine Australia Corporation and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.
Minister McKenzie is expected to announce Mr Walsh’s replacement shortly.