​Media Release

Brian Walsh appointed as AGWA chair

23 June 2015​

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today announced the appointment of Brian Walsh as Chair of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA). 

Mr Walsh was appointed as the inaugural AGWA Chair on 1 July 2014.

Under Brian’s leadership, AGWA has been established quickly and effectively at a very important time for the industry,” Minister Joyce said.

I am very pleased to announce his permanent appointment today for a two year term.

“Australian wine grape growers are facing many challenges and Brian and the Board have made a substantial contribution to improving returns across the industry.

“I am very optimistic about the future of the wine industry, which is showing many positive signs of growth, and believe we have the right team in place to make a difference.”

Minister Joyce said the AGWA was focused on increasing demand, capability and competiveness in the wine grape growing and wine making industries for Australia’s $4.2 billion wine industry.

AGWA has completed a number of important planning projects under Brian’s guidance as chair, including developing the annual operating plan,” Minister Joyce said.

AGWA’s corporate plan, which I have recently approved, sets out AGWA’s key objectives, priorities and strategies to support the wine industry over the coming five years at a critical point for the industry.”

In a promising sign for Australia’s wine industry, for the 12 months to the end of March 2015, wine exports increased 4.6% by volume and 3.4% by value, a welcome improvement after some difficult years.

Brian Walsh has extensive experience within the wine industry both as a winemaker and as a manager and executive since 1968. Mr Walsh has also held chair and director positions on various wine industry bodies, including being a member of the former Wine Australia Corporation. 

Previous roles include President of the South Australian Wine Industry Association, Chair of the South Australian Wine Tourism Advisory Board, Chair of Barossa Winemakers Committee; he is currently Independent Chair of Riverland Wine. 

A selection process is underway to appoint directors for the next three years.​