The fight for gender equality needs champions. So we think the Workplace Champion of Change Award is important indeed. The award is open to both women AND men and recognises exceptional championship of gender equality and diversity in the workplace.

Congratulations to these fabulous finalists (who this year all happen to be female!)

This award is proudly sponsored by

Carissa Major, Claymore Wines


I fell into the wine industry by virtue of the fact that it was the growth industry in my home region (the Clare Valley) and after a year of overseas travel I found myself a little bit jobless and without any real sense of purpose – less inclined to university life just for the sake of it. Landing a position with Knappstein Wines in 1995 at their cellar door my education and love for this industry was kicked off under the influence of firstly Tim Knappstein then Andrew Hardy.

I quickly found I had little aptitude for the more practical aspects of winemaking (my head just doesn’t work that way) but I fell in love with the language of wine and its people…both the people in the industry and the customers, the wine lovers (some more serious than others). And I loved (and still do) the way that this amazing product (wine) brings us all together and at the same times opens doors and sends us to all corners of the globe, or brings others from across oceans to visit our special part of the wine world.

From Knappstein Wines I moved to Jeanneret Wines and became part of the family for 10 years; a period of great learning as we grew organic winegrapes, made wine on site and set up our own bottling line. I assisted with all facets of the business including financial management, sales and marketing, logistics and procurement as well as all the wine related ‘stuff’. It was a wonderful lesson in artisan, hand made winemaking that taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with great people in order to achieve great things. And the importance of having fun in whatever you do…you can sense it in the wines I’m sure!

During this period I completed external studies in Wine Marketing through Adelaide University – education that complemented my professional life and helped to focus my energies.

After a brief period as EO of the regional winemaker’s association I ‘gave in’ to Claymore Wines’ proprietor and joined his small, fledgling enterprise in 2007. My role initially was to grow the domestic sales footprint of the brand but this quickly evolved to encompass most of the day to day operational aspects of the business (minus the financial management). As the business has grown so have I with it – I have been able to grow my team around me so together we can strive to deliver great things and ‘make the people happy’. Wine is a great instrument for bringing out my happy!

Eileen Scott, Adelaide University


Eileen Scott (PhD) is the J A T Mortlock Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Adelaide. She has over 25 years of experience in teaching and research on fungal and bacterial diseases of grapevines, and has raised two children to independent adulthood, in partnership with her husband, in this time. She has a strong interest in supporting the education and development of women and has supervised numerous female honours and higher degree by research students to successful completion. She remains a mentor and sponsor of several women in wine who have worked with her group, as students and postdoctoral researchers, and fulfils this role more broadly for a range of staff, mainly female, in her School and Faculty.

As Deputy Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and Deputy Dean for Gender Equity and Diversity in the Faculty of Sciences, Eileen strives to promote gender equality and a family-friendly work environment for staff and students. She provides promotion support for academic staff and has a particular interest in helping female staff to identify when they are ready to apply for promotion and assisting with the application process, with the aim of promoting women to senior positions in the organisation. She has recently been appointed to lead the institution self-assessment team in the University of Adelaide’s application for accreditation by the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena SWAN Charter, an initiative which seeks to address gender imbalance in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Kendall Clements-Virag, Pernod-Ricard

Having graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce at Adelaide University I commenced my career with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) where I gained my professional CA membership and was exposed to a wide variety of work and clients in the area of corporate recovery and litigation support. My commerce experience extends to over 17 years in the wine industry with Pernod Ricard Winemakers where I have gained extensive knowledge in winemaking and agribusiness operations, supply planning, procurement, sales and category management, strategic planning and project management.

My passion for equality and inclusiveness has inspired me to pursue a voluntary role as a diversity champion for Pernod Ricard Winemakers establishing a foundation group that works with the business to achieve our diversity strategy in order to see an acceleration of female role models leading the way to inspire the next generation.

Outside of work, I love keeping fit, watching my beautiful children grow up (too fast), experiencing the beauty of summer sunsets down the beach with my family and enjoying a glass of Champagne with friends.

The winners of the 2017 Australian Women in Wine Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London, in partnership with Wine Australia, on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at 10am BST / 7pm AEST.

The ceremony will be streamed LIVE to events happening all over Australia!  Find out where they’re all happening here.


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