• Jason Regan

Former SA Governor announced as chair for Barossa Australia

A former South Australian Governor has been selected to lead the new merger between Barossa Grape & Wine Association and Tourism Barossa.


Rear Admiral the Honourable Kevin Scarce AC, CSC RAN (Rtd), has been appointed as the new independent chair for Barossa Australia effective February 2022.


Kevin will be the inaugural chair of the newly formed Barossa Australia organisation, established in January 2022, after the merger of Barossa Grape & Wine Association and Tourism Barossa Inc.


Barossa Australia released a statement yesterday saying Kevin brings diverse and extensive leadership experience holding senior executive positions during his service in the Royal Australian Navy, in not-for-profit and commercial sectors, and as South Australia’s Governor from 2007 to 2014.


His current Board positions also include the chair of Adelaide Oval, Operation Flinders, and Novita, and a board member of APC Technology. He also served as Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 2015 – 2020.


The former governor said he was delighted to be joining Barossa Australia at such a pivotal time in the region’s growth and development.

"While the grape, wine and tourism sectors have faced numerous challenges over the last two years, there is also great optimism around the growth potential, particularly as the region moves forward with a collective purpose and intent”, said Scarce.
“I have witnessed the considerable momentum that has been generated in the early days of the merger.
"I look to support and realise the positive synergies across the grape, wine, and tourism sectors with the board, management, and our customers".

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for the new organisation with several members of the Light Regional Council expressing fears the merger will see an effective takeover of Barossa Tourism by local grape growers.


Light Regional Council Mayor Bill O'Brien left the Barossa Tourism board during the merger process and vowed that his Council would go it alone in terms of promoting the region's other assets.


Mayor O'Brien's comments regarding the merger commence at 19m:30s


Mayor O'Brien told Flow FM Australia's Country Viewpoint earlier this month that he felt the merger between the two organisations was a step too far.

"That's no disrespect to the organisation at all because they are doing a fantastic job of promoting the region, but we want to get back to grassroots," said O'Brien.
"We felt as though we were losing control, where there were major segments of our region coming under the Barossa banner that weren't getting promoted.
"So we've come out and said 'Right, this is how we're going to do it'."