Cellar-brating Wine Australia’s New Chair

28 June 2020

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud has today announced Dr Michele Allan as the Wine Australia Chair commencing on 4 July 2020 for three years.

Minister Littleproud said Dr Allan’s appointment would provide certainty for the corporation, particularly to support Wine Australia and industry through the challenges experienced this year, including bushfires and COVID-19.

“Dr Allan brings a wide range of skills and experiences which will ensure our world renowned wine industry remains globally competitive and productive,” Minister Littleproud said.

“She has a strong understanding of agribusiness, public policy and regulation within food and agriculture industries, R&D portfolio structure and management, enterprise risk management, and science and innovation.

“Dr Allan has previously held chair positions with Meat & Livestock Australia and the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce and currently with Apple and Pear Australia Limited and the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre. She was also previously a director of with Wine Australia and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.

“Globally, Australia is the sixth largest producer and the fifth largest exporter of wine, with exports worth about $2.8 billion.

“But in an increasingly competitive marketplace with changing conditions, the industry realises it needs to be nimble to seize opportunities such as those that will emerge post-COVID-19.

“Dr Allan will be instrumental in overseeing a growing demand for Australian wine overseas and promoting Australian wine internationally as some of the safest, most sustainable and highest quality wine in the world.

“She will also help to implement the Australian wine industry’s Vision 2050 which aims to guide the sector’s focus and growth over the next three decades. 

“I have every confidence that Dr Allan will provide the strong leadership needed to ensure research funding is directed towards priorities that directly benefit the industry.

“I thank the outgoing Acting Chair, Ms Catherine Oates, for her invaluable contribution to the Australian grape and wine sector during her appointment.

“Ms Oates was appointed Acting Chair for three months from 4 April 2020 while the performance review of the Wine Australia board was being finalised and to effectively manage implementation of initial outcomes of the review. She provided stability and strong leadership for Wine Australia during and following the review.”

Fast Facts:

  • Australia’s wine grape growers, winemakers and wine tourism operators contributed $45.5 billion to the Australian economy in 2018-19 and aim to contribute $100 billion in 2050.
  • In 2018-19 there were an estimated 6,251 wine grape growers with a vineyard area of 146,128 hectares, producing a total of 1.73 million tonnes of wine grapes. 
  • In 2018-19 there were 2,257 winemakers, with the gross value of farm gate production totalling $1.11 billion.
  • The wine industry directly employs 69,000 people and indirectly employs 163,790.