2013 Program

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In 2013, 16 people from various industries and locations around the Barossa were successful in their application to undertake the second ever Barossa Future Leaders Program.  The week long residential component in early September at the Barossa Valley Novotel Resort was followed up with a community project for groups of 4 people.

All sixteen participants successfully completed their Diploma of Managements under the guidance and support from Karen Betro from Christie and Betro; and researched and presented four community projects as orchestrated by the Barossa Future Leaders Program 2013 Committee and supported by a mentor for each group.

On Friday 25 October at the Jacob's Creek Heritage Site, the presentations for the 2013 Barossa Future Leaders Program were delivered.  Overall the presentations were very well received with participants detailing some interesting concepts for the community to consider.  All of the projects included recommendations with opportunities for further action and engagement and we are confident that our Future Leader Graduates will continue to develop their projects working with community, business and local government in the coming months.

The overview of each project is below - with the final reports available at the hyperlinks here:

A great turn out with around 40 people enjoyed the presentations and lunch with representatives from the sponsors and supporters present to see the outcome of the Leadership Program in 2013.


Review and assess the viability of establishing a university in the Barossa Valley to meet a demand for higher education in farming, wine making and grape growing: Joanne Seabrook, Barossa Visitor Centre; Sam Wigan, Yalumba Wine Company; Mandy Gerhardy, Orlando Wines and Jess Ruciack, Elderton Wines.  Mentor: James Lindner from Langmeil Wines.

The group discussed two options for a University; a bricks and mortar, large scale infrastructure investment project; or to develop alternatives to offering university level education in the region. In exploring the latter option further, the group recommended engaging with existing universities who currently undertake Viticulture and Agricultural Science courses to deliver the final year if their studies in the Barossa Region. Furthermore, the group recommended to work with TAFE and other providers to look at short and intensive courses in the interim.  

This would be a more immediate response to a Barossa University with the long term vision to potentially invest in the large scale infrastructure investment.  The group also recommended undertaking an Audit of existing course providers, TAFEs, and training and development that currently exists in order to strengthen and coordinate the regions offer.

Review and assess the Barossa Vintage Festival in light of generating a greater return for the community can be remediated and develop a report, recommendations and implementation strategies on the management structure, governance, financial requirements and volunteering: Charles Edwards, Pindarie Wines; Katherine Katalinic, St Hallett Wines; Sally Johnson, Artisans of Barossa and Laura Helbig, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort.  Mentor: Linda Parbs of Peter Lehmann Wines.

Due to the currently unsustainable nature of the Barossa Vintage Festival, this group reviewed the Festival in total from its early history to its more modern day approach to learn about why it started, what was its purpose etc, and then focused more closely on the last 2 festivals for comparison with and assessment against global festivals.

Originally the festival was largely a community festival "By Barossan's For Barossans", and in more recent years this focus has been as a tourism related festival for visitors to the region.

A key recommendation from this group is that the festival should remain a community festival. This focus then indicated that as it is a celebration of the end of vintage, having the festival over the Easter Break, is more often than not, not the end of vintage and therefore can’t be celebrated by the community.  Another recommendation was to create a hallmark event to be the pinnacle event for the festival and for the festival to be 4 days in duration.

The focus should be on authenticity and quality of our food, wine, culture and community.


Review and assess the revitalisation and invigoration of main streets around the world and develop a report, recommendations and implementation strategies on how Barossa Valley main streets visitation could be increased for the communities benefit:  Kirsty Hage, Barossa Council; Corey Ryan, JT Johnson & Sons; Emily Kroschel, Barossa Valley Cheese Company and  Annemaree Clementson, BarossaWeb.  Mentor: Craig Grocke of RDA Barossa. 

This group opened the Presentation with a guest, the Town Crier (aka Corey Ryan) and rolling footage of images of the mainstreets in Kapunda, Angaston, Nuriootpa and Tanunda. Many of the images were not pleasant due to the amount of empty shop fronts and deserted main streets on a sunny Saturday afternoon. In order to address these issues, the group explored how other towns around the world are operating for community and economic prosperity.

They explored many alternatives, and coincidentally, RDA Barossa was hosting the Festival of Ideas in the region, whereby Chris Sands from the UK presented on Totally Locally – a grass roots approach to township renewal.  The essence of Totally Locally is that shopping is not just a transaction, but a conversation. Ultimately it is about loving where you live, being nice to your Neighbour, the shop assistant, and even person walking down the street.  The program is designed to work as a community collective not in an formal structure. As this group had on stickers they handed out to the audience, 'I am they' – as in I am the they in “they should do...”

The Totally Locally kit which is available online and has been developed in the UK with a large number of resources available for communities to download and start using today - doesn't need to be complicated, but can be simple and started immediately with some proactive citizens.


Review and assess the viability of an arts and culture trail for the Barossa Valley: Stuart Bourne, Chateau Tanunda; Penelope Keynes, Rural Directions; Natalie Allen Peter, Lehmann Wines and Nicole Hodgson, Seppeltsfield Wines. Mentor: Maz McGann or Barossa Council.

The development of an arts and culture trail is absolutely vital for this region.  This group discovered that there are a large number of attractions and locations that could be included in the trail and therefore, to be developed properly the trail would not be a singular trail, but a collection of trails throughout the region.  These trails should be available in both the hardcopy format, but also an online presence through the use of QR Codes, smart phone apps and other technology that allows flexibility and a capacity for interaction with community.  There are huge opportunities to develop resources for visitors and locals that cater to individual interests – develop your own trail network based on your interest and time frame.

The Barossa community is ready for this type of resource to be created with many individuals and groups indicating their willingness to get involved in the initiative.