Australian Wine Bureau chief executive for Europe Hazel Murphy has decided not to renew her contract at the end of 2002.

Murphy, who has been with the Bureau 17 years, will stay on until February 2003 for the Australia Day Tastings in UK and Europe.

She opened the first Australian Wine Bureau office in London in 1986 and is widely credited as being the driving force behind recognising and exploiting Australia’s export potential.

Since she joined the Bureau, exports to the UK have risen 250-fold, from 750,000 litres in 1985 to 190m today.

‘Her untiring efforts and contribution to our wine industry has been fundamental to the export success we enjoy today,’ said general manager of the Australian Wine Export Council John Scott.

Murphy won the McWilliam’s Wines’ Maurice O’Shea Award for her contribution to the Australian wine industry in 1996, and was awarded an Order of Australia.

She does not intend to leave the Australian wine industry entirely, and has accepted a directorship and European advisory role with an undisclosed Australian wine company. She also intends to spend more time at home in the north of England on projects of her own.

‘It is so important that Australian wine companies continue to actively support the AWB-UK. I shall continue to support it until I leave and long afterwards,’ she said.

Written by Liz Hughes12 June 2002