Wine Communicators of Australia operates as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee according to the rules contained in its Constitution. When joining WCA, all members are required to formally acknowledge their agreement to abide by these rules.

National Board

WCA is governed by a National Board, whose members are elected by the WCA members at the Annual General Meeting held in November of each year and are drawn from each of the States in which WCA has a Chapter (New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria).

Our current Board Members are:

ANGUS BARNES - Executive Chair (NSW)
Angus has over 25 years’ experience in the wine industry across a number of areas in Sales, Marketing and Business Development.

For the last 14 years, Angus worked for Pernod Ricard Winemakers as the Global Brand Communications and Heritage Director. He has a Bachelor of Economics (Accounting) from Sydney University and a Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). He also was a graduate of the first intake of the wine industry’s Future Leaders Program. He is currently a Vice President of the NSW Wine Industry Association.

Sandy works as a Senior Analyst in the Market Insights team at Wine Australia, providing data, reports and insights to the wine sector. She has been with Wine Australia since 2016. Her role includes conducting the annual National Vintage Survey and Wine Production, Sales and Inventory Survey, writing articles and market bulletins, and maintaining the market insights content on the website. She coordinated the Direct-to-Consumer survey of winemakers from 2018-2021 and oversaw the National Vineyard Scan project. She also gives presentations related to the Australian wine sector to various audiences including analysts, wineries, grape growers, University students, industry associations and other stakeholders.

Sandy’s career in the wine industry started in 1993 with the Wine Industry Training Advisory Council (WINETAC) after which she spent 14 years with Vinehealth Australia (formerly the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board), mostly as Manager, Information and Education Services (part-time) while raising three children. She has also held various consultancy roles including minute secretary for the Barossa Grape, Wine and Tourism Board, and Executive Officer of the Barossa Trust Mark. She has a background in psychology, education and training.

Olivia took the reins as Chief Executive Officer of the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association in early 2019, injecting new energy into one of Australia’s regional treasures. With over two decades in the industry, her extensive international experience with top-tier Australian wine businesses provides a pragmatic approach to supporting the region’s economic ecosystem spanning agriculture, tourism and global sales. Having lived in the Barossa Valley for 15 years prior to her move to the Mornington Peninsula, she brings a deep understanding of the dynamics that define successful wine regions.

Olivia’s career is marked by her roles as Marketing Manager at Casella Family Brands, Global Marketing & NPD Manager at Yalumba & Hill Smith Family Vineyards, Global Marketing Manager at Grant Burge Wines and Sales Manager UK at Brown Brothers Wines, showcasing her versatility and adaptability across diverse positions. She was recently at the helm of successful Pinot Noir Celebration Australia 2023, is a member of the Mornington Peninsula Shire Sustainable Food Economy & Regenerative Agriculture Taskforce and is an active member of the Committee for Mornington Peninsula.

With over 30 years now in the Industry, Rob, initially a Chartered Accountant and MBA (Marketing-Macquarie), is currently Chairman of Tucker Seabrook and consults to a number of Brands and businesses in the Alcohol and Beverage Industry. Currently also a Board Member of Wine Communicators of Australia, and a Member of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales – Sydney Wine Show Committee plus a member of Sommeliers Australia.

A passionate supporter of industry education, Rob and Tucker Seabrook established the Australian operations for the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) in 1991 and today is an Australian Ambassador for the world’s largest wine & spirit education organisation the UK based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) plus also working with the Oceania Board of the highly respected worldwide Court of Master Sommeliers.

Rob was awarded an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in January 2024 for
his service to oenology, and to industry associations.

30 years’ experience in export marketing roles, 20 years specifically within the wine industry. Owned and operated successful wine export businesses over an 8 year period; initially exporting a dedicated Western Australian portfolio of regional wines to Japan and the USA, and later teaming with a large USA based importer/distributor to export a more diverse portfolio of wines (from Australia and NZ) to 20+ states across the USA. Later settled in the Margaret River wine region, taking on Export Sales & Marketing roles with Stella Bella Wines, Flametree Wines and Domaine Naturaliste.

Currently consulting in the field of wine export & marketing for Purple Feet (co-owner) and Hydra Consulting, Recently appointed Project Lead for a Western Australian wine export growth initiative “WA Wines to the World” – an industry led and state government supported program.

Recently involved as facilitator for Wine Australia’s Growing Wine Exports workshop program; and sessional lecturer at Curtin University (Margaret River Education Campus) developing and delivering a Wine Marketing & Business unit. Past board roles with Margaret River Wine Assoc. (Vice Chair) and Wines of Western Australia; now a current board member for Wine Communicators of Australia.

ALEX GIBBS - Deputy Chair & Secretary (NSW)
Alex is a dynamic and committed wine marketing leader with over 20 years experience developing and leading high performing sales and marketing teams across a range of industries – tourism, liquor, wine, beer, government, banking, membership associations, professional services, education, IT, hospitality.

Alex is the CEO and Founder of Smile Marketing, a growth marketing services business which provides end-to-end project management, marketing strategy development, digital marketing, social media, design, event management and customer experience programs.

Alex’s work is focused on consumer and service-based brands in wine, beer, agribusiness, technology and financial services. He also works in the trade and investment space in major export markets including USA, UK, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. and other emerging markets.

He has had significant involvement working with government and the private sector on such national and regional challenges as Productivity, Leadership, Innovation and Strategic Growth.

LYNDA SCHENK - Deputy Chair (SA)
For almost three decades, Lynda has worked across a diverse range of industries including wine, hospitality, and not-for-profit industries. She has a deep understanding of the marketing needs of companies, small and large.

Lynda held the role of Executive Officer (EO) for Wine Communicators of Australia between August 2016-2020 where she was instrumental in developing the inaugural Wine Industry Mentor Program partnership with The University of Adelaide, re-invigorating the Wine Media Cadetship for aspiring young people in the field of wine media and communications and bringing the Wine Media Conference to Australia.

Lynda left Wine Communicators of Australia’s EO position to focus her attention on her Outsource Marketing Consultancy business, Purple Giraffe, founded in 2014.

Lynda is the winner of the Fabulous Ladies of Wine, 2018 Wine Marketer of the Year and a 2019 Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Small Business Category Finalist.

James has been involved in the Australian wine industry for his entire professional career. Having held senior sales, marketing, and general management roles in some of Australia’s most successful wine companies for the first 18 years of his career, over the next 22 years he has successfully run his own consultancy business, establishing Magnum Wine Solutions in September 2001.

Magnum provides strategic planning, business management, marketing, and sales solutions to wine producers. Magnum’s clients have always been small to medium sized Australian and NZ wine companies, specialists in their particular regions, from Margaret River to Marlborough.

More specifically his work lies across multiple facets of wine businesses, from business resetting, planning and mentoring, to brand creation and marketing, to multi-channel sales and distribution planning (domestic and international), to assessing wine styles and blends and coordinating operational requirements accordingly.

James holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) degree from Monash University and a Diploma (Wine Marketing) from Roseworthy Agricultural College. More recently he successfully completed the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines in 2022 (with merit) and the Advanced Wine Assessment Program at the AWRI in 2021.

James has been a member of regional committees including Langhorne Creek and the Pyrenees.

Having worked in the Australian wine and food industries for 30 years, you could say that wine and food are in Annabel’s blood. She is currently enjoying juggling several roles including; consulting to Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA), leading and managing the Barossa Wine School and the Barossa Wine Auction and also working at Food South Australia establishing the South Australia Food and Beverage Export Hub.

Annabel previously worked at BGWA, Wine Australia, PIRSA, Adelaide Hills Regional Development and a number of wineries, always looking for ways of creating value and “wow” experiences for wine drinkers, guests and visitors and helping the wineries to deliver these.

Annabel studied Wine Marketing at Roseworthy Agricultural College in the 1980’s, completed an MBA, majoring in strategic marketing, graduating in 2000 and recently achieved a career goal of being awarded the WSET Diploma in Wine.

She also led the BGWA team that received the Wine Communicator of the Year 2019, as well as Best Wine PR Campaign and Best Wine Website at the Wine Communicators of Australia Awards in November 2019.