Opportunity to provide feedback on proposed changes to AWRI Board composition and appointment processes

12 October 2021

The AWRI is committed to applying best practice corporate governance principles, which effectively balance skill representation, industry connection and diversity in the composition of its Board. To ensure that it remains best placed to meet the evolving needs of the Australian grape and wine industry and model contemporary principles of best practice governance, the AWRI is proposing the first substantive changes to its Board composition and appointment processes since 2006.

Key proposed changes:

  • Introduce a position elected by Grape Research Levy payers (Grape Research Levy payers are not currently eligible to vote in AWRI Board elections).
  • Reduce the number of positions elected by Levy payers from six to four, including one position nominated and elected by small, medium and large category Wine Grapes Levy payers and one position nominated and elected by Grape Research Levy payers.
  • Increase the maximum number of Special Qualification Director (SQD) positions from four to six, to ensure an appropriate balance of skills and diversity (including geography).
  • Introduce a Nominations Committee, made up of a mix of independent members and current Directors, to assist in the selection and reappointment of SQDs.
  • Incorporate an open recruitment process for the appointment of SQDs, seeking expressions of interest to address identified gaps in the Board’s skills and diversity.
  • Introduce a gender diversity quota for non-executive Director positions, specifying a minimum of at least four Directors of either gender.

The AWRI has been considering these changes for almost 18 months and has conducted a number of initial consultations with industry. Input is now being sought from stakeholders prior to the changes being implemented, with an industry feedback period open until 12 November 2021.

If you would like to receive more information about the proposed changes, ask questions or provide feedback, please contact AWRI Company Secretary, Shiralee Dodd, at Shiralee.Dodd@awri.com.au prior to 12 November 2021.

Yours sincerely,

Louisa Rose
Chair, AWRI Board