Logo for APA TAFE

Our team

Our team of highly respected wine experts have gained their skills both here in Australia and in countries around the globe.
They draw from their experience as wine makers, wine authors, wine judges, sommeliers and entrepreneurs to deliver engaging, inspiring and rewarding learning experiences.  They are excited to share their knowledge with those who have a passion for wine and the wine industry.

Clive Hartley DipWSET

NSW Legend of the Vine Recipient. wine educator, sommelier and wine writer.
Course Director Sydney Wine Academy.

 A seasoned author, wine writer, sommelier, wine judge and professional wine educator, Clive Hartley has been instrumental in the development of wine education in TAFENSW. Testament to his industry involvement he is a life member of the Wine Communicators of Australia and honorary member of the Australian Sommeliers Association. 

Clive has specialised in Australian, Italian and Greek wines educating both sommeliers and consumers, as well as advising retailers on importing wines. Clive successfully developed the Introductory and Advanced Italian Wine Courses and in 2007 established the Sydney Wine Academy and introduced Wine and Spirit Education Courses (WSET) at TAFE NSW Ryde.

Clive also has a regular column 'Wine Tutor' in Australia's Winestate Magazine and he is the author of the Australian Wine Guide which is now into its 6th edition. He boasts extensive experience judging wine shows, including the Verona International Wine Competition, the NSW Wine Awards, Australian and New Zealand Organic Wine Show and Griffith Wine Show. He has travelled to numerous wine regions across the globe.

Clive holds the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits and both a Diploma and Degree in Education. He was also nominated for the Drinks Trade Magazine most influential liquor identities of the past 21 years and In 2017 Wine Communicators of Australia awarded him with the NSW Legend of the Vine Award. 

“The Legend of the Vine Award aims to recognise individuals who’ve made an outstanding contribution to the Australian wine industry, and Clive is incredibly deserving of this honour. His dedication to education - be that through his writing, the Sydney Wine Academy or his consultation work in the broader industry - has positioned him in high regard and Clive is seen as a mentor to many from keen amateurs through to seasoned professionals.”
WCA National Chair, Angus Barnes.

Philip Reedman M.W.

Master of Wine, consultant in international wine marketing

Philip Reedman began his wine trade career working as a wine waiter at a busy Nottingham restaurant. Wanting to learn more about wine he joined Vintage Wines in Nottingham as a general trainee during which he passed the WSET Higher Certificate. Keen to continue learning about wine Phil undertook working a series of vintages; 1986 in Alsace with Hugel, 1987 at Saltram in the Barossa Valley and finally the 1988 vintage at Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro. In 1990 Phil passed the WSET Diploma with honours and was the winner of both the Burgundy and the Vinho Verde scholarships.

Inspired by the WSET courses Phil continued to study wine joining the Master of Wine program in 1991. While studying Phil worked for Australian Wine Agencies in London, a pioneer importer of premium Australian wines from small and medium sized wineries across Australia.

In 1998 Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer recruited Phil as Senior Product Development Manager to be based in Australia sourcing wines from Australia and New Zealand. During the nine years Phil was with Tesco he also sourced wines from California and South America, producing many medal and trophy winning wines for Tesco’s own-label program.

In 2007 Phil established his own business working with wineries, brand owners and importers with the mission “Helping you sell more wine”. As well as teaching WSET Diploma at The Sydney Wine Academy Phil maintains his education links with the Masters of Wine in his role as mentor to aspiring MWs. Phil is a regular wine show judge at shows in Australia and overseas and a contributor to various wine industry publications in Australia and New Zealand.  

Brian Freeman

Wine maker and educator

Having trained many of Australia’s winemakers and viticulturists during his decade at the helm of the Wine Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Brian Freeman decided to establish his own vineyards in the elevated Hilltops region. His venture started with Australia’s only plantings of two classic Italian-origin varieties – Rondinella and Corvina – and an intention to craft a unique, expressive savoury and complex red wine that would stand out from the crowd.
Brian travelled to northern Italy for further inspiration and has since created ‘Fortuna’, an award-winning blend of multiple white varieties inspired by the winemakers of the Alto Adige and Friuli regions. His ‘Rondo’ Rosé is made using the saignée method from Rondinella grapes. Other wines in the Italian inspired FREEMAN portfolio are Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and the dual-trophy winning dessert style, Dolcino.


Michael Palij M.W

Teacher, an author, an entrepreneur, and the world’s leading specialist on emerging Italian fine wines

A Canadian, Michael emigrated to the UK in 1989 after reading English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and began his career in the British wine trade. His first position with the legendary retailer, Oddbins, kindled an interest that would see him admitted to the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1995 at the age of just 29. Soon after Michael was appointed buyer for a chain of independent shops and made his first visit to Italy the same year. He promptly fell in love with both the country and its wines and in 1997 established the independent import agency, Winetraders which continues to import exclusively Italian wines from more than a dozen regions.

Michael’s detailed knowledge of what is arguably the wine world’s most complicated producer combined with his passionate and humorous style led to requests for tastings from wine societies, wine schools and corporations around the world. Such was demand that in 1999 Michael established his own wine school, Winematters, which continues to operate from Oxford and is fully accredited with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Michael is published through Dorling Kindersley and contributes the Italian section to many of their publications. In 2008 the WSET itself commissioned Michael to contribute to its textbooks.

A member of Who’s Who, Michael was recently appointed Fund Manager for the Institute of Masters of Wine Endowment Fund. He is a keen cyclist, runner and mountaineer. He lives in Oxford and Hong Kong with his wife and son.

Jane Skilton M.W

Master of Wine, Writer, National and International wine judge and New Zealand educator

Jane began her wine career in London and completed the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits in 1988, and the Master of Wine in 1993. In 2000 Jane and her family moved to New Zealand where she established the NZ School of Wines and Spirits, teaching WSET qualifications and general wine courses to trade and consumers. She is a Certified Educator and whilst most of her time is spent delivering courses around New Zealand, she travels internationally to teach too. 

Jane enjoys judging wine shows and has been the guest international judge in Australia, China and the UK. She contributes to a number of publications including Gourmet Traveller Wine and Wine Pilot. 


Karen Macalister-Hohnen, DipWSET

Professional educator and wine industry commentator

With 30+ years wine industry experience in wholesaling, hospitality, education and retailing, Karen is an active member of the Australian wine industry as a wine educator, author and commentator. 

1979 saw Karen as one of the very first female wine consultants in Australia, which spurred her on to complete many Australian and international qualifications and participate as an Associate Judge at regional and national wine shows. 

Karen is a graduate of TAFE NSW Ryde Campus with a Diploma in Hospitality Management as well as a WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits through the Sydney Wine Academy in 2012.  With a passion for Champagne she is a twice NSW finalist of the Vin de Champagne Award 1984 and 2012.  She also holds an Australian National Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a certified WSET (UK) Wine Educator.

Joe Turnaturi  DipWSET

Sommelier and Wine Educator

Joe Turnaturi has been working as a sommelier and in other roles in hatted restaurants in Sydney for 20 years. He has worked with the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Flying Fish, Cafe Sydney and the Rockpool Group.  It was at Flying Fish where Joe had the opportunity to craft his first wine list , selecting wines that matched seafood with a spicy Sri Lankan twist.

Joe has had a strong focus on his education having completed the WSET Diploma with the Sydney Wine Academy in the first year of offering this course.  Other qualifications that Joe has gained include Professional Sommeliers, World of Greek Wine Program, Italian Wine Scholar Guild.  He has also studied with AWRI completing their Advanced Wine Assessment Course.

Joe is currently teaching WSET courses at the Academy as well a hospitality courses for TAFE NSW and manages the cellar in his role as SWA Cellar Master.

Andy Chen WSET Educator

Bilingual wine educator, entrepreneur, and consultant in international wine business

A banker who has passion in wines! Andy has more than 15 years’ experience in the finance, investment banking and property industry. 

In order to pursue his interest in fine wines, in 2008 Andy extended his business to winery acquisitions, trust funds in wine portfolio investment, and wine trades. Apart from providing professional services in wine related investments, international wine sales and marketing; he also actively participates in wine events, wine magazine publications, social media, community groups, as the host, guest speaker, wine judge, writer, and trainer.

Andy is a graduate of the Sydney Wine Academy holding a Certificate III in Hospitality - Sommelier and was also awarded The Treasury Wine Estates Perpetual Trophy for Top Wine Student in 2012. 

He is an accredited WSET wine educator and was responsible for introducing WSET wine courses in Chinese at Sydney Wine Academy with remarkable success. In 2018 Andy expanded his skills and now teaches WSET Award Level 1 in Sake in Chinese through the Sydney Wine Academy.

Helena Edgerton DipWSET

Wine Educator and Research Assistant

Wine Educator and Research Assistant, 14 year career in the wine trade

Whilst studying for her Masters Degree in French and Spanish, Helena Edgerton spent an unforgettable three months as an intern at Moët et Chandon in Epernay. Once she had completed her graduate training with Tesco UK, Helena decided to pursue a career in wine and worked for the UK's leading wine tours company, Arblaster & Clarke. Helena organised and accompanied wine tours around Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone and Provence, as well as Rioja, Ribera del Duero and South Africa.   

Following a move to Sydney, Helena had a successful sales career with leading wine distributor Fine Wine Partners for six years, primarily in off-premise and key accounts.

Three years back in the UK gave Helena the opportunity to study for and complete her WSET Diploma, whilst working for an independent fine wine and spirit merchant in Edinburgh.

Now back in Sydney, Helena is enjoying her new role at Sydney Wine Academy as well as consulting for a retail wine company.


Matt Irwin DipWSET, IWS

Italian specialist and WSET SWA Award Recipient

Matt Irwin grew up in Brisbane in the 80s and 90s and graduated with a Bachelor of Business  (Hospitality Management) at University of Queensland in 1998 before heading overseas to work for Contiki Holidays Europe. Touring all over Europe as a Tour Manager taking busloads of people through Europe’s Greatest Cities and Countries for 4 years.

Met his Canadian wife before moving to Calgary, Canada to start selling premium wines from all over the world.  Completing the WSET Award in Wine Level 2 & 3 in Calgary, Canada before moving his family to Sydney, Australia to work for importer Trembath & Taylor selling Italy’s Greatest Growers & Makers.

Completed and Duxed the WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits at Sydney Wine Academy in 2018 and qualified as Certified WSET Educator in 2019. Visiting Italy’s greatest wine regions on the way to attending Vinitaly in Verona five times  has elevated his love and knowledge of Italian Wine. Recently Graduating with Honours as an Italian Wine Scholar from the Wine Scholar Guild.