Governance

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.

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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:

MARNI COOK - Chair (SA)
Marni is the Chair of McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association and has been a Non Executive Director of Wine Communicators of Australia for three years. Recently completing her tenures as Industry Professor and Program Director of Wine Business at the University of Adelaide, member of the University’s Wine Futures Advisory Board, and Chair of the Business and Education Committee with Great Wine Capitals Global Network, Marni was previously Program Director at the Australian Centre for Retail Studies at Monash University.

With experience in senior roles in fashion, marketing, change management and adult education, Marni is a consultant, advisor, educator, mentor and facilitator, passionate about developing the business acumen of industry professionals by creating customised executive education programs and advisory services.

A strong advocate of industry needs being met through education, Marni is committed to content that is accessible, practical and can be readily applied by individuals and organisations. Having worked with a diverse client base, including Coopers, Yalumba, Caltex, Department of Defence, Myer, Red Cross, Repco, and Toyota, Marni has expertise in leadership and culture, finance, negotiation and communication, consumer trends, supply chain management, marketing, governance and strategic planning.

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 I 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.

ROB HIRST (NSW)
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.

TONI CARLINO (WA)
Toni brings with her over 20 years sales and marketing experience in wine, food, travel and hospitality across Australia. She has worked with De Bortoli Wines, Southcorp, Treasury Wine Estates and as Brand Development Manager for Crown Perth as well as a range of small to medium family wine businesses. For the past four years she has built her own marketing and public relations business, specialising in small and medium sized wineries. Toni was recently appointed Marketing & Customer Experience Manager for Singlefile Wines, a part time role that enables her to continue with her wine projects.

Toni’s strengths lie in her strategic thinking, experience across the wine community, strong relationships and results driven approach. She is an Advisory Board Member for the Australian Women in Wine Awards, has undertaken a Masters in Wine Marketing and is passionate about growing the Australian wine community.

ANNABEL MUGFORD (SA)
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.

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.

ANGUS BARNES - Treasurer (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.

STEPHANIE DUBOUDIN (VIC)
Stephanie has over 18 years of experience working in the wine industry in the US, Canada, UK, China and Australia. She is the founder and Managing Director of consumer insights and trends strategic consultancy, Food and Wine Insights. Stephanie also holds the role of Account Manager Aus/NZ/Asia for the Decanter World Wine Awards, Decanter Asian Wine Awards and Decanter magazine.

Previously Stephanie was the Country Manager for Wine Intelligence Aus/NZ and has held senior global marketing roles with Kobrand Corporation NY, Rathbone Wine Group and Yabby Lake. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts (Marketing and Media), Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Melbourne (MBS) and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Award in Wines.

ALI LOCKWOOD (SA)
Ali is Manager – Stakeholder Engagement with Wine Australia, responsible for engagement strategies, sponsorship programs and developing relationships with government agencies and State and regional wine associations. She was previously Regional Manager – Emerging Markets, representing Australian wine across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, and established Wine Australia’s Shanghai office in 2008. Ali’s 20-year career in wine began studying Wine Marketing at Roseworthy College, and working in wineries across Australia, followed by a five-year stint in a number of global and domestic roles with (now) Accolade Wines.
SHIRLEY FRASER (SA)
Shirley Fraser is a wine strategy professional based in South Australia. Drawing on over 20 years of wine industry experience to facilitate change that is innovative, relevant and effective.

A Roseworthy Wine Marketing graduate and 2017 Future Leaders alumni, Coaching Mastery participant for Future Leaders 2019, Shirley was also top 3 Finalist for Marketer of the Year 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards and was a judge for the WISA Impact Awards 2019. Dedicated to unlocking the potential of each brand she works with regardless of size or scope, Shirley is a collaborative problem solver. Cultivating authentic stories, uniqueness and causes, to build connections between brands in routes to market to achieve sustainable success.

Current Board member of Riverland Wine Management Committee; National Board member of Wine Communicators Australia; and Chair of the SA Chapter of Wine Communicators of Australia; and actional board for AWIWA. Striving for the encouragement and advocacy of diversity and the support of all wine professionals.

JUSTINE HENSCHKE (SA)
A sixth-generation Henschke, Justine worked in the UK, New York and Sydney . Eager to expand her wine knowledge, Justine graduated from a number of wine qualifications including the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Sommelier Certificate and WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits.

She re-joined the family business at the beginning of 2015 in the role of Marketing and Public Relations Manager and also travels interstate and internationally as a Henschke brand ambassador.

Justine is a member of a number of committees and boards, including the Australia’s First Families of Wine Marketing Committee and Next Generation Committee, the Eden Valley Riesling Committee and is a national board member of Wine Communicators of Australia.