Wine Australia

What happens when you bring together Wine Industry leaders and provide them with exceptional learning and development opportunities? Innovative solutions and delectable wine, that’s for sure.

The Client

Is there a more desirable client than Wine Australia to work with? Hard to beat for sure…

Wine Australia is funded by grapegrowers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges, and by the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for research, development and adoption (RD&A) investments.

Working closely with representative organisations, wine sector bodies and industry partners, Wine Australia invests in programs and activities to support the long-term success of the Australian grape and wine community.

Next time you pour your favourite local tipple, proud of where Australian wines sit on the international arena, you can thank this glorious group for their commitment to the craft.

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Wine Australia

The Challenge

In order to provide contemporary learning and development opportunities across the grape and wine sector, Wine Australia developed their biennial Future Leaders program.

This intensive six – month leadership development program has been designed to support individuals who are ready to step up and take their businesses (and the Australian wine sector) to the next level.

Participants are selected for the program through a competitive application process, and upon completion join an alumni of high calibre industry leaders.

In 2017, Wine Australia reached out to Pragmatic Thinking to craft an exceptional learning experience for their Future Leaders program. We have since collaborated to facilitate their 2019 program, and are in the process of mapping out continual improvements for their 2021 program.

Wine Australia

The Solution

Pragmatic Thinking worked with Wine Australia to create an exceptional experience for participants in the Future Leaders program, including increased access to thought leadership content and hands on learning opportunities. For both the 2017 and 2019 programs, sessions focused on a learning framework that covered four key themes:

  • The Identity of Leadership
  • The Science of Leadership
  • The Art of Leadership
  • The Future of Leadership

Each session was delivered as a combination of theory and practice, designed to give each participant the opportunity to apply their learning within the industry straight away.

Theory sessions were supplemented by a number of projects that participants completed throughout the program. Participants were also given the opportunity to learn from a range of experts across the areas of workplace culture, marketing and crisis management throughout a series of keynote presentations.

The defining artifact produced as part of this program was a hard – cover book titled ‘Thought Leadership’, where each participant was required to develop their own thought leadership contribution for the Wine Industry.

This culminated in a beautifully designed resource that encapsulates cross pollination across the industry and innovative thinking.

The program outcomes are shared and celebrated with the broader industry leaders and alumni group in the final graduation ceremony.

Wine Australia
Wine Australia
Wine Australia
Wine Australia

The Outcome

Since collaborating with Pragmatic Thinking on the development of the Wine Australia Future Leaders program, the corporation saw an expansion and growth in this program, including a doubling in the amount of applicants as well as a marked improvement in leadership capability amongst program participants.

According to Wine Australia, the greatest changes that have occurred for participants of the program are in the following areas:

  • Networking
  • Conflict resolution and negotiation
  • Understanding sector challenges
  • Focusing on health and well-being
  • Setting coaching intentions and being coached
  • Identifying and using leadership tools and resources
  • Having the capacity and confidence to influence or make change

For the industry, this program is a key example of leaders collaborating across the sector, from wine growers and scientists through to marketers and sommeliers.

Wine Australia
Richard Leask


Wine Australia

‘I have just finished my Nuffield Scholarship report for Wine Australia which has involved over 16 weeks of international travel and study in the last 18 months. It has been a remarkable journey and not without some challenging moments.

I know that this wouldn’t have happened without your knowledge sharing and guidance during our time together in 2017. The personal skill sets that I developed during the FL program have been invaluable.’

Richard Leask

Managing Director at Leask Agri