Ben Bryant (ILF2011)


Institution: University of Adelaide
Course: Master of Business Administration

Geoff Vogt approached me in 2011 to consider a grant from the Industry Leaders Fund to contribute towards further study, with the view to improve my management and leadership skills.

I had recently returned to South Australia to the heart of the Pernod Ricard Winemakers Australian wine business and had accepted the position of Winery Operations Manager based in the Barossa Valley. A company that I was also a winemaker within and had been so for approximately the 10 years prior. Whilst my initial response was somewhat wayward, the more I thought about it the greater the thirst for development and exposure became evident.

With a clear personal ambition and a great deal of coaching from Geoff, we came to the conclusion that completing the Company Directors Course facilitated by the Institute of Company Directors was the ideal development that was needed.
Some key reasons for this were based on the following developmental areas (specifically when my current employer is a publicly listed company);

  1. Our Shareholder interests – Returns and sustainability were critical
  2. Governance and risk management – A must in the world of business
  3. Financial interpretation – the need to have a deeper understanding and interpretation
  4. Our Staff – Relied on career development, mentorship, income and a high level of job satisfaction
  5. The Australian wine industry – As a key conduit from supply to consume, sustainability and future growth was key

The course was packed with insightful information and the presenters were able to easily relay their messages on each module via the expansive notes, presentations and relevant case studies. The most interesting aspect to the learning experience was the fact that you were able to network and discuss real life situations with your peer group who were from alternate industries to yourself.
The other fantastic benefit was the chance to network with other scholars during breaks and discuss the relevance of the day’s information and relating these to your own experiences.

The course has further stimulated my hunger for additional higher level education to further support my personal and professional growth as a leader and potential business director in the future.

I would like to sincerely thank the ILF board and in particular Geoff Vogt for challenging me and most importantly allowing me the opportunity to study the Company Directors Course, it has certainly helped open my mind to the many broader opportunities and possibilities available either within Pernod Ricard Winemakers or even further afield.