Mr Neil Comrie AO APM
Chair of the DrinkWise Board and former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police.
Neil completed a 35-year career with the Victoria and Queensland Police with an eight-year term as Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police.
Following his police career, Neil was Visiting Professor, Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University. He was awarded Victorian of the Year in 2001 and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000.
Neil believes that it is imperative that the alcohol industry contributes to harm reduction strategies.
Mr James Brindley
Industry Nominee Director representing the Brewers' Association of Australia and Chair of the DrinkWise Corporate Affairs Committee.
James joined Lion in 1994 as a business analyst. He moved through a number of finance, strategy and procurement roles before being appointed finance director of Lion China in 1998.
In 2001, he was appointed to the position of joint Managing Director and then to Managing Director, Lion China in 2003. James returned to Australia in 2005 to the role of Director - Sales and Customer Service, and was promoted in 2007 to his current role as Managing Director of Lion Australia.
James sits on the Board of the Brewers Association of Australia, is a member of the Council of Alcohol Beverages Australia and is a director of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Hon Kate Ellis
Community Director and former Federal Minister.
Kate was elected as the Federal Member for Adelaide in 2004.
In 2007 she became a Minister serving in portfolios including Sport, Youth, the Status of Women; Employment Participation, Early Childhood Development and Childcare. She also served as the Shadow Minister for Education, Childcare and Vocational Education.
Kate has previously or is currently serving as a Director on a number of boards including the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Adelaide Football Club, the Rare Find Foundation and the Crows Children’s Foundation. She acts as an Ambassador for a number of charity organisations including the Childhood Cancer Association.
Prof Niki Ellis OAM
Community Director, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee and Former President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Niki is an Occupational and Public Health physician and was the inaugural President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Over the past 10 years she has worked on pioneering collaborative research models between industry and academia with the aim of improving the relevance and impact of research. At the University of Queensland, she set up the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health and more recently at Monash University she was the Foundation CEO of the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research.
Niki’s book, Work and Health: Management in Australia and New Zealand is still used in training in occupational health today. Niki has a long-standing research and practice interest in work stress. In 2008, she presented a four-part television series on the ABC, Stressbuster.
Niki is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.
Mr Peter Hurley AO
Industry Nominee Director representing the Australian Hotels Association.
Peter has over 35 years’ experience in the hotel/liquor industry. He is the Managing Director of the Hurley Hotel Group.
Peter holds numerous positions/board membership across several organisations. He is formerly the State President of the South Australian branch of the Australian Hotels Association and was on the National Executive of the AHA, where he served two terms as National President.
Peter is also a Life Member of the Adelaide Football Club having served on the Board from 2001 until 2014, and a former Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Mr Robert Iervasi
Industry Nominee Director representing the Brewers’ Association of Australia.
Robert is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Asahi Beverages – Oceania. Asahi Beverages Oceania consists of a Regional Hub and three Business Divisions: Asahi Lifestyle Beverages, Asahi Beverages New Zealand and Carlton & United Breweries.
Prior to this role, Robert has also held the positions Group CFO & Group General Counsel of Asahi Beverages, as well as Group Chief Operating Officer of Asahi Beverages. In these roles, Robert managed a number of accountabilities, including Finance, Shared Business Services, Legal, Risk Strategy and Information Technology; as well Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and Science & Innovation when he was Group Chief Operating Officer.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree majoring in Accounting and Finance and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree.
He is also a director of Circular Plastics Australia Pty Ltd and Chairman of Allpress Espresso.
Hon Rob Knowles AO
Community Director, Chair of the DrinkWise Social Marketing Committee and former Victorian Health Minister.
Rob was a Member of the Victorian Parliament for 24 years serving as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Housing in the Kennett Government. After leaving Parliament Rob served as Chair of Food Standards Australia New Zealand from 2002-2008.
He was a member of the Australian Government's National Health and Hospital Reform Commission which completed its work in 2009. Rob has had a long interest in social policy and public administration, and now runs his own farm.
Mr Angus McPherson
Industry Nominee Director representing Spirits & Cocktails Australia.
Angus McPherson joined Diageo Australia as Managing Director in April 2020. He is the Chair of Spirits & Cocktails Australia.
Angus leads all aspects of Diageo’s business including manufacturing, marketing, sales, innovation and corporate reputation.
He has many years of international experience in the drinks industry working across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia with brands including Casella Family Brands, Brown Forman and most recently, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE). While working for TWE, Angus was the Nominee Director for Australian Grape & Wine on the DrinkWise Board.
Angus holds a Master of Science - University of Salford, UK, and a Bachelor of Economics (Marketing major) - University of Sydney.
Mr Paul Sheahan AM
Community Director, Former Headmaster of Melbourne Grammar School and former President of MCC.
Paul is a graduate of The University of Melbourne in Pure Mathematics. He taught in both the government and private system for 40 years, including as Principal of The Geelong College for almost 10 years and Headmaster of Melbourne Grammar School for 14 years. During that time in schools, he had the experience of running a boarding house of seventy boys at Geelong Grammar and this, combined with years as the head of a school, gives him first-hand knowledge of behaviours of young people.
Outside schools, he has played international cricket for Australia, was President of MCC, and on the Board of the Australian Drug Foundation (of which he is a Fellow). He is currently Trustee of the Sir Robert Menzies Foundation and Chair of both the Energy & Water Ombudsman Victoria and Christ Church Grammar School.
Mr Terry Slater AM
Community Director, DrinkWise Company Secretary and Former Head of the Health Advancement Division in the Federal Department of Health.
Terry has played significant leadership roles in Public Health policy and regulation including having responsibility for the preparation of Australia’s first national alcohol policy.
He led the work to establish National Statutory Schemes involving the Chairing of Inter-departmental Committees, and Commonwealth, State and Territory working parties and committees to create the Australian New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA), Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), the Treaty establishing the Australian New Zealand food Authority and the Treaty establishing the future creation of the Australian New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency.
He chaired the National Food Authority and was National Manager of the TGA and CEO of Australians Donate. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Therapeutic Innovations Ltd Australia.
Prof Richard Smallwood AO
Community Director, former Chief Medical Officer of Australia and past Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Richard (Dick) was Head of the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine and Chairman of the Division of Medicine at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, and a Member of the Hospital Board.
Dick was President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (1996-98) and Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) between 1994 and 1997.
He has 30 years’ experience in graduate and post graduate education and has published over 250 clinical and scientific papers. He has extensive Australian and international clinical and research experience and was Australia’s Chief Medical Officer from 1999 to 2003.
Ms Helen Strachan
Industry Nominee Director representing Australian Grape & Wine.
Helen joined Pernod Ricard Winemakers in 2007 and was appointed to the Legal & Corporate Affairs Director in 2016.
In her role at Pernod Ricard, Helen has oversight of legal advice and government and industry relations across Australia and New Zealand, as well as coordinating the company’s sustainability and responsibility activities.
Helen also sits on the Australian Grape & Wine Executive Council, is the Chair of the National Wine Foundation and a is member of both the Wine Australia Board Selection Committee and the Australian Wine Industry Joint Strategy Committee.
Hon Amanda Vanstone AO
Community Director and Former Federal Minister.
Amanda entered Federal Parliament in 1984, as a Senator for South Australia. She served as a Minister in the Australian Government from the 1996 election until January 2007, and is the longest serving female Cabinet Minister since Federation.
Amanda held several ministerial portfolios in the Howard Government, including Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Minister for Justice and Customs, Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation. Following her resignation from the Senate she was appointed as Australian Ambassador to Italy and to San Marino.
Amanda now hosts Counterpoint, a weekly program on ABC Radio National, and writes an opinion piece for The Age on a fortnightly basis. She is a member of several boards.
Mr Michael Waters
Industry Nominee Director representing Retail Drinks Australia.
Michael is the CEO of Retail Drinks Australia, the national industry body providing advocacy and services to support packaged liquor retailers in all states and territories of Australia. Prior to this appointment, Michael was Retail Drinks’ Chief Operating Officer since the organisation was formed in late 2018, following the national merger of the former state and territory Liquor Stores Associations. Before the national merger, Michael held the position of Executive Director and Company Secretary for the Liquor Stores Association NSW & ACT.
Michael is also currently a member of the ACT Government’s Liquor Advisory Board, a Council Member of Alcohol Beverages Australia, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) after graduating from the AICD Company Directors Course in 2018, and holds a Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Queensland.