15/04/2020 - 15:09

Wine Australia appoints acting chair from WA

15/04/2020 - 15:09

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Margaret River winemaker Cath Oates will be acting chair of Wine Australia for three months, while a review of its board is undertaken.

Wine Australia appoints acting chair from WA
Cath Oates is the owner and winemaker at Oates Ends in Margaret River.

Margaret River winemaker Cath Oates will be acting chair of Wine Australia for three months.

Ms Oates was appointed as a Wine Australia director in October 2018 and has been leading the organisation since her election as deputy chair in February 2020.

She replaces Brian Walsh, who stepped down as chair in September 2019.

After studying winemaking at the University of Adelaide, Ms Oates went on to a winemaking career spanning 15 years working in Australia and New Zealand at wineries including Mud House Wine Group and Plantagenet Estate.

She is now the owner and winemaker at Oates Ends in Margaret River. 

Ms Oates has previously served as vice-president of Wines of WA and president of the Great Southern Wine Producers Association and Margaret River Wine Association.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said a review of the Wine Australia board's performance was under way, and was due to be completed at the end of May 2020. 

"The review is expected to assess the skills set of the board to assist the government in recruiting a permanent chair," he said. 

“I believe Ms Oates will effectively manage any outcomes from the review of the board.”

Mr Littleproud said Ms Oates' appointment would provide stability for Wine Australia through the challenges facing the wine industry from COVID-19.

“The wine industry has already faced significant challenges in 2020 from bushfires and reduced demand in key markets,” he said.

"It is important Wine Australia has a strong voice bringing the marketing, research and development and regulatory functions together while working through these challenges."

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