Grower Engagement Officer


McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association


McLaren Vale, SA

The Grower Engagement Officer plays a pivotal role in providing support to McLaren Vale's 561 registered vineyard owners and growers through management and implementation of an annual calendar of grower engagement research, development, extension and education activities and initiatives, and through advocating for the interests of grower and viticultural members in local and state forums.

The GEO contributes to building and reinforcing 'Brand McLaren Vale' through development of grower capacity and capability-building activities that enhance the value and sustainability of member businesses and our region, and through further promotion of the region's reputation as a leader in sustainable agriculture.

The role is suited to an individual with sound environmental and/or viticulture understanding, excellent organisational, administration and communication skills, and an ability to develop and leverage diverse networks of stakeholders. Reporting to the CEO, this role involves all aspects of a regional grower liaison.

Role Objectives:

  • Act as a conduit between MVGWTA grower and viticultural members and MVGWTA, industry partners, government and key stakeholders.
  • Provide effective, efficient and accurate management of grower and viticultural research, development, extension and education programs, including contract and stakeholder management.
  • Identify grant and funding opportunities to support MVGWTA-managed projects, manage application and reporting processes, and develop strong working relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Progress McLaren Vale's leadership in the field of sustainable viticulture, including awareness raising within and outside the region, and support administration of participation in Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA).
  • Represent and advocate for the interests of MVGWTA grower and viticultural members, and the McLaren Vale region as a whole, in local, state and national forums.
  • Effectively manage communication channels to ensure Members remain informed of relevant viticulture and winemaking developments and opportunities.
  • Effective and efficient management of MVGWTA's Stump Hill Vineyard, including Agritech demonstration site development, vineyard management and grape supply contracts, and vineyard-based projects.

Main Tasks:

Viticultural Extension And Education Program

Coordination, management and delivery of all grower and viticultural research, development, extension and education events and activities. Responsibilities include:

  • Plan and deliver capability and capacity-building events including Field Days and AgriTech demonstrations.
  • Plan and deliver Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA) seminars and activities.
  • Identify local, state and national grant and funding opportunities, liaise with funding bodies, prepare and submit applications in consultation with Members, and deliver accurate and timely reports on activities undertaken.
  • Manage funding programs such as SA Centrals with other regional associations and key stakeholders.

Grower Engagement, Advocacy And Stakeholder Liaison

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop close working relationships with grower and viticultural Members, manage and respond to Member requests for information, and ensure Member consultation on program and activity design.
  • Produce and distribute Member communications including CropWatch EDM and podcasts and Grower News EDM, and manage McLaren Vale SWA and spray diary website.
  • Provide administrative and project support to the Districts Working Group, Viticultural Reference Group, Phylloxera & Biosecurity Working Group, and other MVGWTA committees as required.
  • Develop close working relationships with key local, state and national government stakeholders.
  • Represent and advocate for the interests of MVGWTA members, and the McLaren Vale region as a whole, in local, state and national forums in areas including environmental and water management, controlled burns, biosecurity management and disease prevention.


  • Coordinate MVGWTA Members' participation in Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA), including collecting and analysing audit data, promoting certification and managing key stakeholder relationships.
  • Identification and promotion to Members of sustainable winegrowing techniques, technologies and opportunities through EDMs and information seminars and workshops.
  • Promote McLaren Vale's leadership in sustainable winegrowing, as Australia's 'greenest' wine region.

Stump Hill Vineyard And Mvgwta Asset Management

  • Manage Stump Hill Vineyard management and grape supply contracts, including liaison with contractors.
  • Progress development of an Agritech demonstration site in the Stump Hill Vineyard, including contract design and negotiation, and funder liaison.
  • Manage maintenance requests for the MVGWTA weather station network and liaise with managing contractor
  • Administer the geology pit sites, including liaison with host Members.
  • Manage and update Association, industry and other relevant records, such as the Old Vine Register.

Key Outcomes:

  • Effective, efficient and in-budget management and implementation of an annual calendar of grower engagement research, development, extension and education activities, including budget management and reporting.
  • Effective, efficient and accurate management and updating of MVGWTA assets, IP, viticultural assets and communication channels.
  • Positive results-based relationships with MVGWTA members, staff, government officers and key stakeholders.
  • Positive membership feedback regarding engagement, attitude, performance and standard of work.

Key Business Relationships:

  • CEO: close consultation and reporting as required.
  • MVGWTA Team: close communication and interaction; back-up as required.
  • MVGWTA Members.
  • Key stakeholders (government; industry bodies; private sector).

Role Requirements:

Experience / Knowledge

  • Demonstrated practical experience in positive, outcome-driven community engagement.
  • Demonstrated practical and/or technical experience in viticulture, winemaking, environmental sciences or related fields.
  • Demonstrated success in securing grants and funding for activities, relationship development with government stakeholders and an in-depth understanding of grant processes.
  • Project and budget management experience and excellent organisational skills.
  • Demonstrated track record of implementing educational and capacity-building events and activities.
  • Demonstrated experience in data analysis, interpretation and reporting.
  • Excellent communicator with well-developed writing and presentation skills.
  • Familiarity with the McLaren Vale region and community members desirable.


  • A positive team player with a flexible and collaborative manner.
  • Superior interpersonal communication and professional presentation skills required to represent the Association and McLaren Vale appropriately to key stakeholders.
  • An ability to develop, foster and leverage diverse professional relationships and networks.
  • Self-motivated, self-starting and proactive, with strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Exceptional time management and organisational skills.
  • Solutions-oriented and an ability to think laterally and remain calm under pressure, as well as a strategic and creative mindset.
  • Demonstrates integrity and high ethical standards.

Work Environment:

  • Located at McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association office (Visitors Information Centre, McLaren Vale).
  • Some regional and intrastate travel required.
  • A valid driver's licence is required to fulfil this role.

Terms Of Employment:

  • Initial 12-month contract with option of extension.
  • 3 days per week (0.6 FTE); flexibility in working days as agreed with CEO.
  • Normal working hours are 9-5; additional hours outside of normal working hours required at times.

Date published: