AWRI Board


Brett McKinnon, Toby Bekkers, John Harvey, Dan Johnson, Mark Watson, Louisa Rose (front), Kim Horton (back), Brian Schmidt, Stuart McNab, Liz Riley

Louisa E. Rose

BSc, BAppSc(Oen), GAICD
Chair. Chief Winemaker, The Yalumba Wine Company. Member South Australian Agribusiness Council. Previous positions: director Barossa Grape and Wine Association, director Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc., Chairman Wine Barossa. National wine show judge since 1997 and 22 years’ industry experience. Board member since 2011.

Tobias J. Bekkers

BAppSc(Ag)(Hons), Grad. Cert. (Mgt)
Viticulturist, consultant and wine business manager with over 20 years of relevant experience. Toby’s consultancy provides viticulture and wine business advice across Australia. He and his wife own and operate Bekkers Wine and vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Toby participated in the Australian wine industry Future Leaders program in 2009. Toby has served on many industry committees including two terms on the Board (one as Deputy Chair) of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association. Board member since 2014.

John S. Harvey

BSc (Hons), PhD, MBA, GAICD
Former Chair of the Adelaide Hills Wine Region, Member of the South Australian Wine Industry Association Executive and Executive Director of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. John has extensive knowledge and experience of the organisations, politics and structures of the Australian wine industry, the research and development system and Government. John is currently chair of the Can:Do 4 Kids Group of Charities and Non-Executive Director of Rural Business Support and Studio Nine Architects and a Member of the South Australian Committee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (Australia). Board member January 2012 to December 2014 and from January 2016.

Kim R. Horton

BAppSc (Wine Science)
Senior Winemaker, Willow Bridge Estate. Past member of the WA Wine Industry Association Technical Committee. Young Winemaker of the Year in the inaugural Australian Wine Selector’s Shining Lights awards. National and regional wine show judge with 20 years wine industry experience. Board member since 2015.

Daniel L. Johnson

BSc (Hons), PhD, MBA, GAICD
Managing Director, The Australian Wine Research Institute, Chair of The Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc. , Director of Tacnia Pty Ltd. Professional Member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, Committee Member of the Wine Industry Technical Advisory Committee of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, the Wine Innovation Cluster Leadership Group and the Waite Strategic Leadership Group. Participant in the Australian wine industry Future Leaders program. Dan has been instrumental in driving various initiatives in the Australian grape and wine research and development community over the last five years. Board member since 2011.

Brett M. McKinnon

BAgSc (Oenology) (Hons)
Global Operations Director, Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Brett joined Orlando Wyndham in 1999 as Chief Winemaker & Winery Manager for Wyndham Estate, bringing over 10 years of commercial and winemaking experience gained from a range of roles in Australia, Europe and the US. With the formation of Orlando Wines within Pernod Ricard Pacific in 2006, Brett was appointed General Manager – Viticulture & Winemaking and then progressed to Technical Director in 2009, managing wine supply, viticulture, winemaking and packaging operations.

In September 2010, Brett was appointed Managing Director of Orlando Wines and was responsible for the continued success of its strategic brands, Jacob’s Creek and Wyndham Estate. In 2013 the global business was renamed as Pernod Ricard Winemakers and Brett remained the Managing Director of the Australian operation. In May 2014 Brett was appointed Global Operations Director of Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

Brett is a Director and member of the executive management committee of Pernod Ricard Winemakers.  Brett is a board member of  The Barossa Grape & Wine Association and is an active member on various other Australian wine industry bodies.  Board member since 2008.

Stuart C. McNab

BAgSc (Hons), PhD
Formerly Chief Supply Officer – Global Wine Production, Treasury Wine Estates. Participant in the inaugural Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) Future Leaders Program in 2006, inaugural Chair of the Wine Innovation Cluster 2008-2010, member of the Executive of the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) 2007-2014 and President of SAWIA 2009-2012. Stuart has been a Board member of WFA, Chair of the WFA Large Winemakers Committee, Chair of the WFA Innovation Policy Committee and member of the South Australian Wine Industry Council. Board member since 2015.

Elizabeth A. Riley

BAppSc (Wine)
Owner and operator of Vitibit Pty Ltd. Independent Expert for the Wine Industry Code of Conduct – Wine Australia, Professional Member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, Associate Member and member of the Viticulture Sub-committee of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association and Associate Member of the NSW Farmers Association. Liz was awarded the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association’s 2011 Viticulturist of the Year and was the recipient of the Australian Nuffield Farming Scholarship for Women (sponsored by Lady Southey) in 1997. Over 20 years experience in the Australian wine industry. Board member since 2012.

Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS

BS (Astronomy), BS (Physics), AM (Astronomy), PhD
Brian  Schmidt  is  a  Laureate Fellow  and Distinguished Professor at  The  Australian  National  University’s  Mount  Stromlo  Observatory.  Brian was raised in Montana and Alaska, USA, and received undergraduate degrees in Physics  and  Astronomy  from the  University of  Arizona in 1989, and he completed his Astronomy Master’s degree (1992)  and PhD (1993)  from Harvard University.  Brian joined the  staff  of  the  Australian  National  University in 1995, and in 1998 he was the leader of a team that discovered that expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. This discovery was named Science Magazine’s Breakthrough  of  the  Year  for  1998.  It is for this discovery that Brian Schmidt was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Brian is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the United States Academy of Science and the Royal Society. In 2013, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. While Brian continues his work as an astronomer at the Australian National University, he also runs Maipenrai Vineyard and Winery, a 2.7 acre vineyard and small winery in the Canberra District which produces Pinot Noir. Board member since 2014.

Mark R. Watson

Chief Executive Officer of Water Utilities Australia, previous Partner of KPMG, leading the Adelaide Corporate Finance practice. Previously held senior finance and strategic management positions at Wirra Wirra Vineyards, FH Faulding & Co Ltd and at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Current directorships: President, Starlight Children’s Foundation SA Advisory Board, Chairman, Beach Burrito Company Pty Ltd, along with various other private company directorships. A Chartered Accountant with over 20 years finance and management experience in Australia and United Kingdom. Board member since 2008.