The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine.

AGWA brings together the RD&E activities of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and the market development and compliance activities of the Wine Australia Corporation in one new entity. 

AGWA is funded by grapegrowers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for R&D investments. 

AGWA is a Commonwealth statutory authority established under the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Act 2013 that commenced on 1 July 2014.

Structure of the Board

The Board is established and governed under the AGWA Act. It must consist of a Chair and at least five, but not more than seven directors. The current Board has been appointed directly by the Minister for an initial term of three months which commenced on 1 July 2014.

The Board currently comprises:

Mr Brian Walsh (South Australia) – Chair
Brian Walsh was a non-executive member of Wine Australia Corporation. Brian boasts a 24 year career at Yalumba, spanning roles of Chief Winemaker, Director of Production and Director of Strategy & Business Development as well as 20 years working in winemaking and management positions in McLaren Vale. Brian has previously held roles including President of the South Australian Wine Industry Association, Chair of the South Australian Wine Tourism Advisory Board, Chair of Barossa Winemakers Committee, Chair of the Wine Innovation Cluster at the Waite Campus, Urrbrae and is currently Independent Chair of Riverland Wine. Brian has been a senior wine judge with more than 30 years' experience and has been both Chairman of Judges at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show and Chair of its Wine Committee.

Ms Eliza Brown (Victoria) – director
Eliza Brown is the CEO of Peter R Brown Family Vineyards and the first female director and board member of Brown Brothers Wines with strong skills in advertising, sales and marketing.

Mr John Casella (New South Wales) – director
John is the Managing Director of Casella Family Brands and well known for the creation of the successful Yellowtail label.

Mr Brian Croser AO (South Australia) – director
Brian is the former President of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and has made a strong contribution to research and education, establishing the Charles Sturt Wine Science degree in Wagga Wagga.

Mr John Forrest (Victoria) – director
John Forrest understands the challenges faced by table, wine grapes and dried vine fruit producers through his experience and consultation with viticulture clients through irrigation development.

Mr Ian Henderson (Queensland) – director
Ian Henderson is the CEO of Australian Vinegar and is a professional wine and vinegar maker with qualifications in wine science.

Ms Janice McDonald (Western Australia) – director
Janice McDonald has worked in the industry for more than 25 years and is the chief winemaker for Burch Family Wines, holding a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Wine Science.

Mr Kim Williams AM (New South Wales) – director
Kim Williams AM has vast experience as a company director in Australian media and will bring a range of corporate skills to the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.