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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.

David Hickson

Head Teacher Sydney Wine Academy and WSET Educator.

David has over twenty years of experience running diverse teams in large hospitality venues in Australia and London. David has a keen focus on delivery exceptional consumer experiences and brings this mantra in his current position as Head Teacher at the Sydney Wine Academy.

David’s extensive hospitality experience includes positions as sommelier, restaurant manager, venue manager and general manager where he shares his knowledge and skills to educate up-and-coming hospitality professionals.

David has been teaching at TAFE NSW for six years and holds various qualifications including, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Diploma in Hospitality Management, Bachelor of Business, Graduate Certificate in Adult Education and is a certified WSET 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.

Helena Edgerton DipWSET

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.

Sabine Duval DipWSET

Wine educator and Brand Manager

With over 20 years in the Wine industry, Sabine has accrued extensive experience in her chosen field.
As Brand Manager Hungerford Hill, Dalwood and Sweetwater wines; she brings a unique trade perspective to Sydney Wine Academy.

Sabine has over a decade’s worth of experience as a Senior Wine Buyer; blind tasting thousands of wines and selecting the very best.

Sabine is a certified sommelier, awarded by The Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010. She completed her WSET Diploma and teaches WSET L1, L2, L3 and Diploma at The Sydney Wine Academy and various other locations. She is an active wine judge and has judged at both regional and national shows.

Matt Irwin DipWSET, IWS

Italian specialist and WSET SWA Award Recipient

Matt brings over 20 years of experience in the wine and hospitality industries across Australia, Canada, Italy and New Zealand. He graduated with the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits in 2019 and became a certified WSET educator the same year. Since then, Matt has taught all levels of the WSET Awards in Wine to students throughout New South Wales.

He works as a Business Development Advisor for the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). Previously working for Italian wine importer Trembath & Taylor as New South Wales Manager for 11 years, selling Italy's best wines to top restaurants and wine shops.

An Italian wine scholar with the Wine Scholar Guild, Matt is currently studying to become a Master of Wine and is 1 of only six people in Australia qualified as an Italian Wine Ambassador from the Vinitaly International Academy.

Guest Lecturers

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.  

Annette Lacey M.W

Wine Educator and Group Beverage Manager 

Annette has extensive management and operational experience across all levels of restaurants and hospitality venues. She is currently the Group Beverage Manager for Solotel, a large and diverse hospitality group in Sydney. She has held similar roles having developed her skills as a restaurant manager and sommelier for international hotel groups and award-winning fine dining restaurants across traditional, modern and Asian cuisines.

She has completed all levels of WSET and is a certified educator focusing on the development of the next generation through the delivery of wine courses in the Australian market.

Other accolades include the winner of the prestigious 2014 Vin de Champagne Award (Professional), and being selected for the highly prized Len Evans tutorial. She also has experience as a wine show judge at numerous shows around the country, and participates in trade and educational tastings, presentations and master classes.

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.

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.

Cameron Jones

Cameron Jones DipWSET

Wine Educator and Professional Wine Judge

Cameron achieved his WSET Diploma in January 2022 and the same year became a WSET Certified Educator up to Level 3. He currently splits his time between Australia and France where he lives in southern Burgundy.

Beyond his French knowledge, his expertise is enhanced through participation in specialized programs, including the Valpolicella Educator, Sherry Educator, Barolo & Barbaresco Academy Ambassador and recently he has become one of only ten Vinitaly Academy ‘Italian Wine Ambassadors’ in Australia.

In addition to teaching, Cameron is active as a professional wine judge, participating in significant competitions across Europe. He also volunteers as a mentor and educator with The Roots Fund USA, promoting diversity within the wine sector.

Administration Support Staff

Karen Macalister-Hohnen DipWSET
Laura Hillard