About Australian Women in Wine
Australian Women In Wine exists to champion the work of women in the Australian wine community and to advocate for gender equality across the sector.
We seek to support and mentor women, to share experiences, to encourage and inspire and highlight, where we see it, the need for change.
We started in 2015 as an awards program (the Australian Women in Wine Awards) and in 2023 transitioned into Australian Women in Wine to reflect the breadth and scope of our work.
Australian Women in Wine is an initiative of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, and is overseen by an advisory board of industry leaders. They like to get things done. So we like to call them the AWIW Action Board!
The Action Board
Jane Thomson OAM
Founder & Chair
Jane is the founder and Managing Director of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, Australia’s first and wildly successful wine community for women. Awarded ‘Digital Wine Communicator of the Year’ by Wine Communicators of Australia in 2019, 2016 and 2013, Jane is the only person to have won this award more than once.
Not only is Jane passionate about communicating the joys of wine to an increasingly savvy female audience of wine lovers, but she’s equally determined to do everything within her power to showcase the fabulous female talent within the Australian wine industry.
In March 2015 Jane represented Australia at the first ever Women in Wine Global Symposium in Napa, CA. It was from that experience that she returned with the vision to found the Australian Women in Wine Awards. The awards ran from 2015 to 2020, and included ceremonies in London in 2017 and New York in 2019. In 2023, after a short COVID induced hiatus, it became simply Australian Women in Wine – to reflect the many activities it now undertakes.
All of this only became possible thanks to the support and exceptional talent of the members of this advisory board, both past and present.
From 2013 – 2023 Jane was also the Drinks Editor for Taste.com.au Magazine, and was voted as one of Wine Business Magazine’s ‘Top Stars’ of 2012 & 2016. In both 2019 and 2021 she was chosen as the Australian representative to sign an International Accord agreement for women in wine groups around the world to work together, at the Global Forum of Women in Wine in Milan (Italy). She was ably accompanied in this by the ASVO 2019 Winemaker of the Year, Corrina Wright.
In June 2023 Jane was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to women in the oenology sector.
Alexia Roberts is a dynamic industry leader with over 20 years of experience in the wine sector.
Since graduating from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Oenology in 2004, Alexia has acquired extensive winemaking experience across Australia, France and Italy.
As a passionate advocate for McLaren Vale, Alexia was appointed Chief Winemaker for Penny’s Hill, The Black Chook and Thomas Goss brands in 2013 and, throughout the past decade, has created a range of wines that have received superior acclaim and accolades worldwide.
Since 2022, Alexia has been responsible for the overall management of Penny’s Hill Estate and is leading the significant site developments at Penny’s Hill as the brand enters an exciting new chapter within the Randall Wine Group.
With a strong belief in paying it forward, Alexia encourages the success of women in the wine industry through her role on the Australian Women in Wine advisory board and is an alumni of the Wine Australia Future Leaders program.
In 2022 Alexia and her husband Damon launched their wine brand, Larnook. Creating small batch wines primarily sourced from their home vineyard in McLaren Vale, which they share with their two beautiful children.
Described by WBM Magazine as a “legend in the making” and by James Halliday as being part of a “remarkable dynasty” Corrina is the Director and Winemaker (and sixth generation member) of her family’s label, Oliver’s Taranga.
2019 ASVO Winemaker of the Year and 2021 Family Business Australia Leading Women in Family Business Award winner, Corrina is a vocal supporter of women in wine. She graduated from the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2005 and continues to judge at numerous wine shows around Australia. Passionate about her McLaren Vale home, her vocation and local community she has also served on the boards of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association, and the Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology. A Future Leaders alumni, she is a current board member of the Australian Wine Research Institute and President of the Australian Alternative Varietals Wine Show. Corrina is furious that we are losing women from our wonderful wine community and is determined not to sit back and let it happen.
Jeni Port is a freelance wine writer based in Melbourne. A trained journalist, she created the first wine column in The Sun News-Pictorial newspaper (now Herald-Sun) before moving to The Age where she went on to become the paper’s longest-serving wine writer.
Over the years she has contributed at any one time to virtually every wine magazine published in Australia.
Today, she is a member of the Tasting Team of the Halliday Wine Companion, writes for the on-line wine website, WinePilot, and contributes to magazines such as Winning and Maserati Magazine. She is a committee member of the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards, and is the co-deputy chair of Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards and China’s Wine List of the Year Awards.
Jeni is also the author of Choosing Australian Wine, Crushed By Women: Women and Wine and the Australasian contributor to Dorling Kinderlsey’s Wines of the World.
In 2014, Jeni was named a Legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and was awarded Wine Communicator of the Year by Wine Communicators of Australia.
Shirley Fraser is a wine strategy professional based in South Australia. Drawing on over 25 years of wine industry experience to facilitate change that is innovative, relevant and effective.
A Roseworthy Wine Marketing graduate and Future Leaders alumni, regular mentor and judge of various awards, Shirley was also a finalist for Marketer of the Year 2018 in the Australian Women in Wine Awards.
Dedicated to unlocking the potential of each business she works with regardless of size or scope, Shirley is a collaborative problem solver. Cultivating authentic stories, value and strategy, to build connections in routes to market to achieve sustainable success. Previous Board member of Riverland Wine Management Committee; National Board member of Wine Communicators Australia; and Chair of the SA Chapter of Wine Communicators of Australia, she was Executive Officer at WISA and is currently working with wine brands and suppliers for the wine sector.
Shirley is energised with the work of the advisory for AWIW, for the encouragement and advocacy of women working in wine, and how she can lean in for anyone in the industry wanting to thrive.
A passionate driver for equality and a champion for diversity, Beck has worked for over 25 years in the wine industry mostly in executive management roles within large corporate wine companies. A winemaker by trade supported by a Masters in Business she brings a breadth of experience as well as an inquisitive approach to the Women in Wine advisory board. With a slew of accolades and awards from her time working in Australia and internationally, her main focus now is finding ways to support others to succeed.
Having switched gears and choosing to work only on projects that inspire her, Beck likes to lend her time to doing such things as leading the ‘hear me roar’ projects, coaching future leaders and climbing large rocks. She is also Chair of the Research Advisory Committee for Australia Grape and Wine, a wine business consultant and a distiller (when she is not outdoors doing fun stuff).
Dr. Catherine Kidman
Dr Catherine Kidman has been a part of the Viticultural team at Wynns since 2011.
Her primary role is overseeing the technical program as well as implementing the research and development directions for the vineyards.
Cath completed her PhD with Adelaide University examining grapevine rootstocks, water stress, flowering and fruitset. This has given her good grounding for her more recent work at Wynns exploring vine water status, and the role of climate for early, accurate yield predictions, as well as other research in an attempt to understand the complexities of the vineyard environment. Along with her work at Wynns, she also enjoys her supervisory roles with both Masters and PhD students through the University of Adelaide.
In 2020, Cath was awarded Gourmet Traveler Viticulturist of the year and 2020 Australian Women in Wine Viticulturist of the year. In 2021, she was awarded the International Viticulturist of the Year for Women in Wine and Spirits, she is a past recipient of Wine Australia Future Leaders program (FL19) and a mentor in Wine Industry Mentor program 2021 and in 2022.
Cath actively represents Coonawarra as a committee member of the Coonawarra Vignerons as well as a technical representative for the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and is a member of ASVO.