​Media Release

Brian Walsh reappointed as AGWA chair

28 June 2017

  • Brian Walsh has been reappointed as the AGWA chair.
  • Mr Walsh's reappointment is for a three year term, starting 1 July 2017.
  • This follows Mr Walsh's previous two year term as AGWA's inaugural chair.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, today announced the reappointment of Brian Walsh as Chair of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA).

​Mr Walsh has been reappointed as the AGWA Chair from 1 July 2017 for a consecutive term of three years, following his previous two year stint as AGWA's inaugural chair. 

"Under Brian's leadership, AGWA has been established quickly and effectively and seen a very successful first few years," Minister Ruston said.

"I am delighted to announce his reappointment today for a further three years.

"Australian wine growers are facing emerging opportunities and ongoing challenges and Mr Walsh and the board are making a substantial contribution to improving returns across the industry, which I'm sure they will continue to do.

"I am very optimistic about the future of the wine industry, which is showing many positive signs of growth.

"AGWA is focused on investing in research and development, building international and domestic markets, encouraging adoption of new technologies and protecting the reputation of our wine industry all with the aim of supporting a prosperous Australian grape and wine sector.

"Australian bottled wine exports grew 9 per cent to an average $5.35 per litre in 2015-2016, its highest level since October 2003.

"Mr Walsh's reappointment means he will be able to continue to oversee AGWA's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and the implementation of the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support package which will drive exports and promote our fabulous wine tourism offering to the world. I have every confidence that under his stewardship AGWA's exciting initiatives will be delivered," Minister Ruston said.

Mr Walsh has extensive experience within the wine industry both as a winemaker and as a manager and executive since 1968.

He 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 nearing the end of a four-year term as Independent Chair of Riverland Wine.​

Fast facts

  • The Australian grape and wine sector contributes more than $40 billion to Australia's economy through exports, tourism and employment, particularly in the country's regional areas.
  • Employing around 30,000 people directly, and many more indirectly, wine production is a major agricultural industry in Australia.
  • Australia is the sixth largest wine producing country, with around two-thirds of this wine exported and the other third consumed domestically.
  • Export sales were valued at $2.22 billion in 2016.