Leadership Changes at Wine Australia

by Kaia

Wine Australia has announced significant changes to its leadership team, appointing Shirley Fraser as General Manager of Customer Engagement, Ned Hewitson as General Manager of Regulation and General Counsel, and Dr. Liz Waters as Chief Operating Officer.


Wine Australia CEO Dr. Martin Cole emphasized the importance of strong leadership amid the challenges facing the grape and wine industry. “It’s critical that we have depth of talent within our leadership and the right people in the right roles to provide value to our sector. This is particularly important as we commence our new strategic cycle, with the One Grape & Wine Sector Plan actions to be delivered and the development of our Strategic Plan 2025–30,” Cole stated.


Shirley Fraser Appointed General Manager of Customer Engagement

Fraser, a graduate of Roseworthy and Future Leaders, brings extensive experience from senior roles in the grape and wine sector, including positions with the Wine Industry Suppliers Association, Sorby Adams Wines, Constellation, Byrne Vineyards, Terraview AI, and Wine Collaborators.


Dr. Cole expressed his enthusiasm about Fraser’s appointment: “I am delighted to welcome Shirley to our senior leadership team at Wine Australia. Shirley’s diverse expertise, her ability to foster collaborative networks, and her leadership focus on adding value for all parts of our sector will be instrumental in achieving positive outcomes.”


Fraser commented on her new role, saying, “I love working in the wine sector and now have the opportunity to serve all producers. As the connector of people, concepts, and programs, my goal will be to assist producers in leveraging their networks and opportunities, to expand understanding of what Wine Australia offers, and to listen to the feedback of the sector.”

Ned Hewitson Becomes General Manager of Regulation and General Counsel

Hewitson has been promoted to the senior leadership team following his valuable contributions as acting General Manager and Legal Counsel.

Dr. Cole praised Hewitson’s appointment: “Ned’s continuity of service is crucial for our regulatory services, especially as exporters need guidance and support for enhanced market access. He has led our regulatory services team for the past five months, fostering a commitment to keeping exporters and producers at the center of our functions.”

Hewitson expressed his commitment: “Regulation and market access are fundamental to the success of the Australian wine sector. I am excited to lead Wine Australia’s regulatory team and continue its good work for the benefit of the sector.”

Dr. Liz Waters Promoted to Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Waters, known for her leadership in Wine Australia’s research and innovation portfolio, brings extensive expertise in sector leadership and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing producers.

Dr. Cole highlighted Waters’ promotion: “Liz’s promotion to Chief Operating Officer will help drive Wine Australia’s corporate governance and strategy to ensure we deliver value and respond to the needs of our levy payers. She has led successful, high-profile strategic projects and supported the progression of Australian wine’s research landscape.”

Dr. Waters shared her enthusiasm: “I deeply care about the success of the Australian grape and wine sector, and I am thrilled with this new opportunity to contribute further to this wonderful community.”

These leadership changes mark a pivotal moment for Wine Australia as it navigates its new strategic cycle and continues to support the grape and wine sector.



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