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Wine Australia names new GC

Australian statutory corporation Wine Australia has updated its senior leadership ranks, including appointing a new general counsel.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 31 May 2024 Corporate Counsel
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Ned Hewitson has been named as the new GC and general manager of regulation for Wine Australia, while Shirley Fraser is the corporation’s new general manager of customer engagement, and Dr Liz Waters is its new chief operating officer.

Speaking about the appointments, Wine Australia chief executive Dr Martin Cole said: “With the significant challenges facing grape and wine businesses, it’s critical that we have depth of talent within our leadership and the right people in the right roles to provide value to our sector.

“This is particularly important as we commence our new strategic cycle, with the One Grape & Wine Sector Plan actions to be delivered and the development of our Strategic Plan 2025–30.”


Hewitson has been with Wine Australia for just under two years. Prior to his promotion, he served as acting general counsel and acting general manager of regulation, and before that, was a legal counsel. He also spent more than six years at Finlaysons, working as a wine sector-focused corporate and commercial solicitor.

He has, the corporation said in a statement, “a deep wine background” that includes undertaking vintages throughout Australia, working in various domestic and foreign sales, distribution, retail, and hospitality roles; show judging; and teaching undergraduate students.

Cole said: “I’m pleased to announce Ned’s appointment, which brings a continuity of service for our regulatory services at a time when exporters in particular are needing guidance and support for enhanced market access.

“Ned has led our regulatory services team for the past five months and has fostered the team’s commitment to keeping exporters and grape and wine producers at the centre of our regulatory and market access functions.

“He has also been instrumental in representing the interests of the sector as delegate at meetings of the World Wine Trade Group and FIVS to keep our sector’s interests at the forefront of international discussions.”

Hewitson said: “Regulation and market access are each fundamental to the past, present and future success of the Australian wine sector.

“I am excited to lead Wine Australia’s regulatory team, and continue its good work for the benefit of the Australian grape and wine sector, into the future.”

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