The DrinkWise Australia Board
DrinkWise Australia’s activities are governed by a Constitution, with an effective and cohesive Board consisting of seven community representatives (drawn from health, law enforcement, communications and public policy fields) and six industry representatives. Under the Constitution, the Chair and the DrinkWise Australia Executive are required to be independent of the alcohol industry.
James Brindley joined Lion Nathan in 1994 as a business analyst, moving through a number of finance, strategy and procurement roles before being appointed finance director, Lion Nathan China in 1998. In 2001, he was appointed to the position of joint managing director and then to managing director, Lion Nathan China in 2003.
Following the sale of the China business, Brindley returned to Australia in 2005 to the role of director – sales and customer service, and was promoted in 2007 to his current role, Managing Director, Beer, Spirits and Wine – Australia.
Neil Comrie completed a 35-year career with the Victoria and Queensland Police with an eight-year term as Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police (1993 to 2001). In recognition of his services to policing, Neil was awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) in 1994 and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2000. He was also named Victorian of the Year in 2001 in recognition his community service. Following his police career, Neil was Visiting Professor, Faculty of Business and Law at VictoriaUniversity. He has undertaken a range of major and sensitive inquiries and reviews for both the Commonwealth and Victorian governments. Most recently, he has undertaken a review of the 2010/11 floods in Victoria and is the independent Monitor of the implementation of the recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. He is also the President of the Board of the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board in Victoria.
Neil has a long history of practical involvement in strategies to reduce alcohol abuse and is involved with DrinkWise because he believes that it is imperative that the alcohol industry contributes to such harm reduction strategies.
Peter began his hotel career at the Wudinna Hotel during 1975 and today is Managing Director of the Hurley Hotel Group overseeing several major hotels including the landmark Arkaba Hotel in Adelaide and the Port Lincoln Hotel on the South Australian Eyre Peninsula.
Peter was elected to the Australian Hotels Association Council (SA) in 1979 and has held the position of State President since 1994.
He is currently serving his second term as National President of the Australian Hotels Association.
Appointed Chairman of the National Alcohol Beverage Industry Council from 1998 to 2001 and re-elected in 2010. Peter is a past board member (1979-1996) and a past Chairman of Sip’n Save (1992-1996). He has served on both the South Australian Tourism Commission Board for six years and the Board of the Australian Tourism Commission from 2000 to 2004.
He is a Director of the Adelaide Football Club and was on the Board of the ABC from 2006 to 2011. Since 1997 Peter has been Chairman of Hospitality Group Training, the largest group apprenticeship training scheme in SA.
Hon. Rob Knowles AO
Rob is a Company Director and farmer and has had a long interest in social policy and public administration. He 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 he has 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 it work in 2009.
He is a Commissioner on the new National Mental Health Commission, Chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia since 2006, President of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia since 2004 and Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence since 2005. He is also a Director of the Silver Chain Group of Companies and Chair of the Royal Children’s Hospital Campus Council.
Ari Mervis has over 23 years experience within the beverage industry first joining The South African Breweries soft drinks division, Amalgamated Beverages Industries in 1989. Throughout his career Ari has held various senior positions in sales, marketing, finance and general management. He has also been Managing Director of Swaziland Bottling Company and Appletiser as well as Managing Director of SABMiller operations in Russia and Australia.
Since October 2007 Ari held the role of Managing Director SABMiller Asia before being appointed to his current role as the Chief Executive Officer of Foster’s and Managing Director of SABMiller Asia-Pacific in December 2011.
Giuseppe Minissale is General Manager of NSW’ strongest independent liquor marketing group Porter’s Liquor, recently appointed President of the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA), and owner of 5 liquor stores in Sydney, currently operating under the Porter’s Liquor banner. ALSA is the representative body for the entire take-away packaged retail liquor sector, ranging from small independently owned and operated stores to the national chain operate stores.
Giuseppe has worked in the industry for over 30 years, starting on the floor in Western Australia with retail and wine groups, established his own shops, set up and managed franchise operations and represented retailers on industrial and alcohol policy as President of the Western Australia Liquor Stores Association. Giuseppe moved to Sydney in 2000 to take on the role of General Manager of Porter’s Liquor and recently stood down as President of NSW Liquor Stores Association to take up the national role.
Giuseppe has a passion for wine and has his own young cool climate vineyard just out of Goulburn, where he grows Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Pinot Gris.
He brings his vision for ALSA to take leadership with a responsible and accountable role in the alcohol beverage & hospitality industry. Giuseppe believes that his appointment to the DrinkwWise Board will combine synergies from both organisations to help deliver this vision.
Originally from the UK, Tim has been in his current role of Managing Director at Diageo Australia since July 2008. Tim has spent a lot of his career in beverage companies including Tetley Tea in the UK, Pepsi in Australia and USA and brewer Lion Nathan in Australia. In March 2004 he joined Campbell Arnott’s and was General Manager Arnott’s Australasia prior to joining Diageo.
As Managing Director, Tim is responsible for all aspects of Diageo’s business in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. Diageo is the world’s leading premier beverage alcohol producer, employing over 20,000 people over 80 markets across the world, with great brands such as Bundaberg Rum, Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Smirnoff, Baileys and Guinness. Tim is responsible for driving all aspects of the Australasia business, including product supply, marketing, sales, innovation, and company reputation. Tim is a member of the Board of the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA).
John Scott draws upon two decades of work as an effective leader in strategic marketing and research. Currently an independent research consultant, he has an impressive breadth of industry experience gained across public and private sectors including multinationals.
Highly regarded for delivering business solutions which are insightful as well as practical, John has a strong track-record in assisting organisations in understanding and leveraging the nexus between consumers, brands and products.
John holds a Masters in Primary Health Care and has made extensive contributions to major policy development and communications initiatives for government and non-government organisations. He has published and presented widely on his work in public health and on associated consumer communication campaigns.
The Australian Market and Social Research Society recently awarded him with its’ annual Research Effectiveness Award for Communications Strategy Effectiveness for the development of the DrinkWise advertising campaign -Kids Absorb Your Drinking. John Scott is a member of the Board of DrinkWise and Chair of the DrinkWise Social Marketing Committee.
Terry Slater (Company Secretary)
Terry Slater has a Masters in Public Health and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. His breadth of knowledge in the public health arena spans more than 20 years in leadership roles. As the Head of the Health Advancement Division in the Federal Department of Health, Terry led national public health strategies including Australia’s first National Alcohol Policy. He was Chair of the Board and Chief Executive of the National Food Authority responsible for the introduction of standard drink labelling for alcoholic drinks and the establishment of the Australian New Zealand Food Authority. Terry is also the Company Secretary for DrinkWise.
Prof. Richard Smallwood AO
Professor Richard (Dick) Smallwood is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Melbourne. He has had over 30 years involvement in the teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates, and has published over 250 clinical and scientific papers, primarily in the field of the liver and its diseases.
Previous appointments, awards and memberships:
- 1994-1997: Chair, National Health and Medical Research Council
- 1994-1997: Member, Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council
- 1996-1998: President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- 1997: Officer of the Order of Australia for services to medicine
- 1999-2003: Chief Medical Officer of Australia
- 2000: Vice President, World Health Assembly in Geneva
- 2003-2007: Inaugural Chair, National Blood Authority and Chair, Ministerial Taskforce for Cancer in Victoria
Ongoing appointments and memberships:
- President, Australian Medical Council
- Chair, Forum of Health Professions’ Councils
- Board member, National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia
- Fellow, Trinity College, the University of Melbourne
- Board member, DrinkWise Australia
Dick considers it important to support an organisation which is attempting to help deal with the problems caused by harmful drinking, whether they be due to acute, heavy drinking episodes or long term over-indulgence. Dick believes it is particularly important that the Drinkwise Australia Board involves members from the alcohol industry as well as representatives of the community, since the industry then has the opportunity to put into effect the principles and policies enunciated by Drinkwise Australia.
Kate Thompson is a commercial lawyer with extensive experience in the wine and spirits industries. She is presently the Legal and Corporate Affairs Director of Premium Wine Brands, Pernod Ricard, with responsibility for legal matters, industry and government relations and corporate social responsibility in Australia, New Zealand and Spain. She holds degrees in Law and Commerce from Adelaide University.
Kate is a member of the Boards of Wine Australia Corporation (the peak government body for the Australian wine industry) and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Inc. She is also actively involved in a number of board committees for these bodies.