WINE Victoria will seek to develop a supportive relationship with the government under the guidance of its new executive officer.The board announced the appointment of Rachael Sweeney last week.
Ms Sweeney comes from Regional Capitals Australia Secretariat, an organisation working for the development of regional capitals across Australia, where she was a project director.
Prior to that, Ms Sweeney worked as a senior communications consultant for government relations agency, Socom Pty Ltd, where she worked on behalf of interest groups on engagement activities with the state government and departmental ministers.
Ms Sweeney will start her role this month and work three days a week based in the Port Melbourne office.
Chairman Stephen Strachan said Ms Sweeney bought deep experience in membership engagement, stakeholder communications and media relations to Wine Victoria.
"She has worked on several high profile campaigns in the state that have resulted in extensive changes to government policy,'' Mr Strachan said.
"While working on the Regional Cities Victoria campaign, she supported the group in their advocacy activities with the government and opposition, which resulted in the current $1 billion regional growth fund.
"We are delighted to have Rachael on board at Wine Victoria.''
Wine Victoria was formed in late 2011 as the successor to the Victorian Wine Industry Association (VWIA) to represent the interests of the Victorian wine industry.
It advocates on behalf of the Victorian wine industry at a state and, where appropriate, federal level.
The board has identified the following strategic priorities for Wine Victoria in 2013:
1. Sustainable wine taxation environment in support of Victorian wineries.
2. Informed and evidence-based government policy framework on public health matters.
3. Environmental issues relating to grape growing and wine production.
4. A pro-active and supportive government relationship.