Board member of Vinehealth Australia since July 2019, Richard Barrett brings extensive business experience to the table.

Richard is currently Chair of MedTEC South Australia, the State’s peak Health & Medical Industry Leadership group. It was established in 2014 under the SA Government’s Industry Cluster Initiative to advance SA’s world class health and medical technologies. Richard was founding CEO prior to taking the Chair in 2019.

Richard is currently also CEO and Managing Director of MedTEC Pharma, one of a number of privately funded spin-outs from the cluster, focused on clinically validated, scientific advancement of Medicinal Cannabis treatments.

Richard was born and raised among the vines in South Australia’s Riverland, where he still has business interests in horticulture.

He is a keen wine enthusiast, having absorbed a curiosity from an early age in a family of wine tragics, including his uncle, winemaker Ian (Macka) McKenzie.

He started his career as an Engineer with Honeywell in Adelaide, before spending more than 20 years with US based packaging group Scholle Corporation.

As Global Vice President for the Wine & Spirits Division, Richard and his team built an expansive global portfolio of packaging business units to support emerging wine industries in Europe, Russia, China, India and Latin America during the 2006 to 2015 period.

Richard is passionate about South Australia’s economic development. He continues to be active in the global promotion of SA’s health, medical and wine sectors.

“These sectors are closely related in that they are standard bearers for our clean, green, ethically driven environment and reputation,” Richard said. “This must be both promoted and protected at all costs.”

Richard said he is excited to be working with the talented management team at Vinehealth Australia and its highly capable Board. He looks forward to bringing his commercial experience, together with government and stakeholder relationships, to help guide the organisation into the future.

“This includes delivering a sustainable economic model that will ensure Vinehealth Australia’s important work continues for another 120 years,” Richard said.

“Vinehealth Australia carries a unique and distinctive responsibility to deliver a program which goes much further than traditional biosecurity regulation or policing activity. This is what makes it very different from existing biosecurity agencies.

“In particular, it delivers uncompromising protection of our vineyard assets and the wine industry at large, without diminishing the tourism and visitation experiences that make wine so attractive.”

Richard is also Chair of recruitment firm Harrison McMillan and member of the Ministerial Advisory Panel for Health and Medical Industries.