17th December 2019


Mount Gambier wine producer and owner of Caroline Hills Winery, Helen Strickland, has been appointed the new president of The Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council Inc. (LCGWC).

The current secretary of the Mount Gambier Regional Grapegrower’s Association, Helen says she is looking forward to working with a dynamic group that achieves results in a wide variety of areas across a highly successful industry.

“The Limestone Coast has a strong reputation for its premium wine production and it contributes strongly and sustainably to the region’s economy, providing diverse employment opportunities across all skill levels,” she says. “I admire the way that the LCGWC thinks regionally across grape growing, winemaking and viticulture, and I like the fact that members work collaboratively in a competitive environment. It was wonderful to be asked if I would be interested in this role, and I look forward to continuing the amazing work achieved by Peter Bissell and his team.”

Helen Strickland also sits on the board of the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce, chairs the Mount Gambier & District Community Bank (Bendigo Bank), and is the independent chair of the South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association Inc., representing the interests of South Australia’s most valuable commercial fishery. Her appointment has the full support of outgoing LCGWC president Peter Bissell and vice president James Freckleton.

“It’s great that Helen agreed to take over at the helm of the LCGWC after the position was vacant for a short time after the November 20 AGM; we will value her broad experience and she is a good fit into the business of the council,” James says. “She has been fully endorsed as president by the Committee of Management.”

Peter Bissell spent five years as president of the LCGWC and has been a member of the management committee for more than 15 years.  Significant projects during his tenure include the review into the 2012 Water Allocation Plan, successful lobbying for a Moratorium on Fracking during the Parliamentary Inquiry into Unconventional Gas, and an increase in LCGWC council levies to improve financial stability. The continued success of the LCGWC’s Limestone Coast Wine Show is also part of his legacy; Peter was a founding member of the show in 2001, and served on its committee for 10 years. Peter will continue as public officer to complete the Limestone Coast Mixed Dozen Wine Trails Project, which will be officially launched early in the new year.

For further information or interviews, please contact Helen Strickland 0458 198 81, Peter Bissell 0427 852 315 or LCGWC executive officer Ulrich Grey-Smith on 0429 499 355.