Judith Kennedy awarded AM
Judith Kennedy, founder and CEO of the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers (AABW), has been made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM).
The citation reads: ‘For significant service to the winemaking industry, and to children’s health.’ The award was announced in the recent Australia Day Honours.
Judith founded the AABW in 1996 and has managed its activities ever since. The association runs the annual Boutique Wine Awards, whose judging panel I have chaired for all of its 21 years. I also represent Australia in the Six Nations Wine Challenge, which Judith also created and managed until the end of last year. I’ve had a lot to do with Judith in various wine-related activities and can vouch for her energy, drive, integrity and enthusiasm. She is a true entrepreneur.
The AABW has played a significant role in the growth and success of the boutique wine industry in Australia, and more recently New Zealand. The Six Nations Wine Challenge, created as the Tri Nations in 2003, provides a platform for the best of Australian wine to compete against the other new world wine countries, giving them invaluable exposure. Judith has also mounted innumerable wine exhibitions and events, and published a book on boutique wine and food.
I know less about Judith’s contribution to children’s health, except that she spent six years as a non-executive director for the Oncology Children’s Foundation (2005-11), a very worthy organisation, where she influenced the expansion of research aimed at childhood cancers.
While Judith handed over the reins for Six Nations at the end of 2016 to Ross Anderson, she remains a strong force in the wine industry and continues to plan for more growth for the AABW.