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Plumpton scholarship launched at Hazel Murphy celebration

Published:  13 March, 2020

At a moving tribute to Hazel Murphy at Australia House on Thursday, Wine Australia’s Laura Jewell MW announced a new scholarship in memory of the former “dynamo” behind Australian wine.

Hazel, who passed away at the beginning of this year, was remembered as the feisty and tireless champion that put Australian wine on the map in the UK, helping drive exponential growth during her time heading up Wine Australia’s London office, when Australia's wine exports went from AU$1.4m to close on AU$900m.

“She may have been pint sized, but she was a real force,” said Jewell, recounting many personal stories that resonated with the experiences of all those in the room that had spent time with Hazel.

Robert Joseph, who led further tributes, remembered the first ‘wine flight’ in 1992, which became a regular part of Hazel’s programme to introduce the UK trade and writers to Australian wines, taking trips Down Under, creating innumerable converts and champions along the way.

“No one I know in the wine industry has ever left a bigger mark, not just in the UK or Australia, but anywhere,” said Joseph.

Charles Metcalfe, who said that many in the room owed their love of Australia to Hazel, added: "She was the foundation by which Australian wines grew - enormously." 

The scholarship set up in Hazel’s name will provide a bursary of £5,000 to support a student in studying for the masters degree on viticulture and oenology at Plumpton College.

This has been created by Douglas Green and the Mr Gees Foundation, with funding in place for at least five years.

According to the Mr Gees website: “For the next five years an award will be made annually at the discretion of the university to a graduate student who might otherwise not be able to afford to study for a master’s degree in viticulture or winemaking that specifically encompasses sustainability and water management within the industry.”

Those who wish to learn more about the scholarship or support with donations can click through here.