Developing the next generation of wine communicators

Monday, 12 August 2019

Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) and the Adelaide Business School at the University of Adelaide are set to launch a national wine industry mentor program to boost the career trajectory of the next generation of wine communicators. The program will benefit people who will take a leading role promoting Australia’s wine industry in their public relations, marketing and communications careers.

The Wine Industry Mentor Program pairs ambitious wine industry professionals with respected industry leaders for a period of six months. One-on-one sessions will give mentees the opportunity to tap into experiences and insights from the best experts in their fields.

The program aims to boost both the personal and professional development of early career wine communicators by giving them access to a wealth of knowledge from respected wine sector leaders; greater career clarity, direction and satisfaction; networking opportunities with like-minded, ambitious young wine communicators and advice with career progression.

The inaugural six-month program has attracted notable names to act as mentors from across the country setting a high standard for the program launch. Mentors include:

 Toni Carlino, Marketing Manager, Fogarty Wine Group and WCA Board Chair
 Marni Cook, Consultant and WCA Board Member
 Alex Gibbs, CEO, Smile Marketing and WCA Board Member
 Gill Gordon-Smith, Co-ordinator Wine & Spirit School TAFE SA, Winemaker/Owner Fall from Grace
 Bill Hardy, Consultant, Accolade Wines
 Clive Hartley, Course Director, Sydney Wine Academy
 Rob Hirst, Chairman, House of Fine Wines and Tucker Seabrook and WCA Board Member
 Huon Hooke, Co-owner, Contributor, Chief Wine Reviewer, The Real Review
 Patrick Iland, Director, Patrick Illand Wine Promotions
 Ali Lockwood, Manager Stakeholder Engagement, Wine Australia and WCA Board Member
 Anthony Love, Freelance wine writer, presenter, consultant
 Jenny Port, Wine Journalist
 Kathleen Quealy, Owner, Quealy Wine Makers
 Nick Ryan, Wine Writer, Speaker, Wine Judge, Nick Ryan Wines
 Katie Spain, Journalist, Wine Writer and Author

This program plays an important role in supporting the growth of future wine communications leaders and strengthening the Australian wine sector, a cause of strategic importance to the WCA and the Adelaide Business School.

WCA Executive Officer, Lynda Schenk says: “WCA are proud to launch this program in conjunction with The University of Adelaide. WCA is committed to supporting and helping to grow future leading wine communications, by learning from and connecting with experienced wine professionals. We believe the relationships that will be forged will be extended past the six month program, fostering greater collaboration and connections across generations of the Australian wine sector.”

The University of Adelaide’s Professor Noel Lindsay, Dean of the Adelaide Business School, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Entrepreneurship) says: “The wine industry is of enormous importance to the South Australian, and Australian economy.

“The University of Adelaide and the Adelaide Business School are committed to playing a part in ensuring the industry flourishes.
“The Wine Industry Mentor Program will help the next generation of wine communicators achieve their career goals by exposing them to some of the best communications minds in the industry.

“Partnerships such as this, between the Adelaide Business School and Wine Communicators Australia, will strengthen the wine industry, ensure its growth and its future sustainability.

“I’m very pleased to see this partnership deliver such an important support mechanism for the next generation of wine industry leaders.”
Applications to be mentees in the Wine Industry Mentor Program, which are open until 30 August 2019, are welcome from Australian residents. Applicants are expected to be in the early stages of their careers in the wine industry. Eligibility criteria are available on the WCA website. The program will be launched at the University of Adelaide in September and the program commences on 1 October.

The partnership with Wine Communicators Australia is another example of how the University of Adelaide is addressing its industry engagement priority in agrifood and wine.

About WCA
Wine Communicators of Australia aims to be Australia's pre-eminent organisation connecting business professionals working with wine and currently has more than 500 members. WCA’s annual program includes networking events, webinars and its prestigious lunches in association with three major capital city wine shows – Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. It also runs the annual Wine Communicator Awards and Legend of the Vine Awards. In addition to its regular schedule, in 2019 WCA will be hosting two major international wine conference events. For more information visit

About the Adelaide Business School
The University of Adelaide is a world-class research and teaching institution. We are centred on discovering new knowledge, pursuing innovation and preparing the educated leaders of tomorrow. For over 140 years the University of Adelaide has pushed the boundaries in business education, delivering innovative and transformative courses, and producing a network of alumni that have gone on to make a real-world impact in the world of business. With a unique emphasis on both the production and sales aspects of wine, the University’s Wine Business programs are tailored for career in the industry.


Contact Details

Lynda Schenk
Executive Officer
Wine Communicators Australia
Mobile: +61 (0)400 811 002

Crispin Savage
Media and Communications Officer
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 (0)481 912 465