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:

MARNI COOK - Interim 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 two 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.

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.

A Chartered Accountant and MBA (Marketing-Macquarie), Rob joined the liquor industry 30 years ago. He is currently Chairman of Fine Wine Partners and the Australian representative for the Court of Master Sommeliers and UK-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). He is also a long-standing Board member of Liquor Merchants Association of Australia, the Food Media Club and Sommeliers Australia. In 2006 Rob and his late wife Judy were inducted into the Restaurant and Catering Australia Hall of Fame for services to industry.
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.

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.
Toni brings with her over 20 years sales and marketing experience in wine, travel and hospitality across Australia. She has worked with wine businesses such as De Bortoli Wines, Southcorp, Treasury Wine Estates and as Brand Development Manager for Crown Perth. 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 Manager for Fogarty Wine Group and produces a food and wine radio program called ‘That Food and Wine Show’ broadcast nationally and podcast on Virgin Australia.

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.

ANGUS BARNES - Deputy 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.

ALEX GIBBS - Treasurer (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.

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.

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.

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.