The awards CEO is Ms Judith Kennedy AM, founder of the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers in 1996. Kennedy’s wealth of experience includes having personally managed the Australian and New Zealand Boutique Wine Awards for 22 years and the Six Nations Wine Challenge for 14 years. Kennedy was awarded the Order of Australia General Merit Medal for 20 years’ service to the wine industry and to children’s health projects. In 2017 Judith founded the Australian Gin Distillers Association Inc looking to give Australian gin distillers their own system of awards and in 2019 invited the craft gin distillers of New Zealand to join the awards and the Sydney Gin Palooza.
Chairman of Judges Bill Lark is known internationally as a malt whisky king; Bill is a spirits distiller of great experience and success – considered by some to be “The Godfather of the Australian Spirits Industry.” Bill founded the Lark Distillery in 1992 with his wife Lyn and his mantra is “A marriage of science, art and passion.” Bill will bring a great deal of confidence to the awards by selecting a range of judges with an emphasis on technical expertise.